• Audrey Walter

The Platform: A Socioeconomic Experiment

Updated: Jul 16, 2020

A New Way to View Greed


The Platform is a 2019 film directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. It’s a movie that Netflix streams on its...platform. This movie struck my interest as I was looking through the new releases Netflix had to offer. It’s labeled as a Sci-Fi/horror movie and the preview looked promising. The idea looked fresh and I’m definitely needing some fresh horror movie concepts.


And it did not disappoint.

Spoilers Ahead!


The film takes place in a prison with hundreds of floors. We aren’t aware of how many floors there are at first. Two men wake up on one of the small floors. One is Goreng (Iván Massagué) and the other is Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor.) Trimagasi is clearly a veteran of the place and gives Goreng some rules and information.


This prison that they are in lowers a platform covered in delicious food down through each floor. Each floor gets around two minutes to eat before the platform descends to the next floor. An interesting premise that gives the audience many questions.

We learn that Goreng entered this prison by choice for six months so that he could get a diploma. Trimagasi committed involuntary manslaughter and had to choose between going to a psychiatric hospital or “the hole.” Another character is introduced soon after named Miharu (Alexandra Masangkay) who is looking for her son. She kills her floormate and rides the platform once a month through each floor to find her son or be his floormate. This creates more mystery about the hole.

Goreng and Trigamasi discuss what items the administration allowed them to bring. The organization that runs the hole allows inhabitants one item. This item is usually a weapon.


Sure enough, Trimagasi brought with him a knife that sharpens as you use it. Yet Goreng only brought a copy of Don Quixote. This item usually shows the nature of each inhabitant of the hole.

As for other characters, Miharu brought a ukulele, which didn’t serve a purpose and doesn’t suit her personality. Could it have been for her son? Who knows. But it's revealed by another inhabitant, Imoguiri (Antonia San Juan), that Miharu joined the hole to become famous after completing her stay and the story about her son is a lie.

Miharu riding through the floors.

Who is telling the truth? It’s hard to tell.


Imoguiri seems to have inside information and Goreng remembers her as the woman who interviewed him before entering the hole. She’s revealed to have terminal cancer and wanted to experience the experiment that she worked for. While Trimagasi gives survival information, Imoguiri gives insider information. She says there are only 200 floors and that children are not allowed, proving that Miharu doesn’t have a son. And if she did have a son, wouldn’t she have seen him already during her trips on the platform? The plot thickens! But later it’s revealed that there are more than 200 floors, driving Imoguiri to her death.

There are so many questions while watching this movie: did the administration who started this whole thing lie to Imoguiri? Does Miharu actually have a child? How many floors are there? What does this all mean?

Well, many viewers have their own guess on what the hole really stands for. As for myself, it’s quite obvious that this movie is making a social commentary on socioeconomic issues. Goreng already has Don Quixote with him, which is a book that centers around a man making it his mission to be good. Goreng is like Don Quixote in which he wants everyone to have their share and to work together. But, like Don Quixote, most find him crazy to even think up such a thing. Trimagasi even asks if Goreng is a communist for simply wondering if each floor can ration the food.

All the floors represent different economic statuses. The top floors always get a large amount of food and make sure to eat as much as possible, not caring about those below them. The middle floors get scraps but are able to scrape by. And the final floors get absolutely nothing.

I wouldn't want to fall through that.

The rich, the middle class, and the poor.


But the administration moves everyone to different floors each month at random. A person on the 30th floor could be on floor 200 the next month. In the outside world, the rich usually stay rich. But this factor makes the indifference more clear.

This indifference is the experiment that the creators of the hole are trying to push. If everyone in the hole worked together, they could give food to every floor by rationing it. Even Imoguiri had that same thought. But was the administration trying to prove we as a society could never share? Do they want a positive or negative outcome? It’s really up to the viewer.

The ending of the movie depicts a small child being sent up to the top floor to cause a stir in the administration. They want the administration and the cooks to feel bad. But us viewers never see the result, so what is this ending?


In my opinion, this child represents youth around the world. If we teach them values at a young age, they will grow up and enforce them to make a better future. The poor will not struggle and the rich will not engorge themselves.

Another thing I enjoyed was the dialogue between Imoguiri and Goreng about spontaneous change. Imoguiri struggles to make the floor below them ration their food. They are greedy and want to eat as much as possible. Goreng believes it’s stupid and useless to try to reason with them and that there is never spontaneous change. But as we see later on, Goreng has to make a spontaneous decision with his new floormate Baharat (Emilio Buale Coka) to forcibly ration the food and get to the bottom floor.

This spontaneous choice creates a slow change in the world. We can’t sit around--we have to be the change we want to see. It was a great concept of how some people think a change will happen even if they don’t make an effort.

Yum.

Some people on Reddit have different thoughts on The Platform’s message. Some said it had religious symbolism. Some said the little girl at the end was an illusion of hope and that Goreng had sent up the panna cotta, only to be ignored by the cooks. The second theory is interesting, but I can’t agree much with the religious aspect. But there is some truth to it, in my opinion.

In the end, we find out there are 333 floors. This means there are 666 people in the hole. Obviously 666 is the number linked to the devil. Could these floors correspond to hell? These floors show us that life can be heaven, hell, or our own purgatory.


(If you want to watch a movie with amazing religious symbolism, check out Mother!)

My Verdict?


No matter what theory you believe about this movie, it’s sure to give you some confusion. The Platform thought-provoking and unique in its plot and storytelling. This film really is amazing and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to view it. I’d recommend this to anyone who loves symbolism and thinking through themes. Also, if you’re interested in reading more about the religious theories of this movie, check it out on Reddit!


I give The Platform a 10/10.


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