The platform review| The platform movie

The platform review | The platform movie

The platform movie review

  • Today we’re discussing a Spanish film called "El Hoyo", or "The Platform" as it’s known in English: A dystopian science fiction-fantasy-ish film about humanity, desperation, and what happens in a worst-case scenario. Now just a heads up, I’ll be going through a summary of the film’s events. So that means spoilers ahead, before going on at length about the film: it’s themed, the message, the ideas it discusses and how you should go about watching this film because it’s not like most films. But with at out of the way! This is The Platform explained. So the first thing we see is that of a fancy pants kitchen where this food inspector guy goes about inspecting the kitchen, looking over prepared dishes and finding it to his liking. It’s after this that we meet this guy played by Ivan Massague, named Goreng in this very spacious cell block with a rectangular hole in the ceiling and the floor. And as you can see, it gives you a very clear view of everyone above you and below you. But Goreng's not alone, there’s this older gentleman named Trimagasi played by Zorion...
  • Eguileor
  • Who is a bit standoffish, not very friendly, and uh... kind of a prick. Let's be honest. So we got2 strangers in a room together and they just talk about this place because ladies and gentlemen, is The Pit, an underground prison complex with cells that are 6 meters tall, the building itself stretching deep beneath the earth and no one’s really sure how far it goes down there. But what the prisoners do know is that there are rules here.
  1. Rule 1: Any prisoner who enters can come in with a single thing from the outside, Gorenghimself has a copy of Don Quixote to pass the time and finally getting to read it whileTrimagasi has a self-sharpening knife. Oh yeah and rule #3: Every month, the prisoners are gassed unconscious so that they may be moved to a different level and in turn a new cellmate.
  2. And finally Rule #2: You’re not allowed to take any food off the platform lest you be burned or frozen to death. You see in this complex, there’s this magically rising and falling platform that’s stocked with the food prepped in the kitchen as we saw at the beginning of the film.
  • With the upper levels, starting from Level 0--With Level 0 being the kitchen getting the first pick and descending from there on and since there are a lot of levels and only this much food in this prison, food is like dark humor: Not everyone gets it. So the lower the prison goes, the less food there is for everyone else and because of this people go a little mad sometimes. Now mind you there’s this process to enter the prison voluntarily as people like Goreng, crazily enough, want to get into the prison as they can get some social mobility points, not the exact wording used in the film but think social credit or certification as Goreng himself enters as he wants to quit smoking which is just crazy But anyway back to the platform, the food is there in each room, or each level I should say for 2 minutes before the platforms descend again and of course, people get a little angry with this whole deal.And you’re anything like Trimagasi, you’ll spit in it or do much worse, which doesn’t make him any friends with the people down below. It’s like the most miserable battle royale game but instead of trying to kill people, you’re just trying to just survive although killing people isn't off the menu

**wink wink**

  • Now since Goreng and Trimagasi are on the 48th floor, the food is not at all hygienic. I mean it's so nasty that your dog probably wouldn’t eat this, I mean I know mine wouldn't eat it. I know mine wouldn’t eat it because she died, but that’s beside the point It's just *Dracula disgust noises And of course, when you’re stuck in this situation, you try to keep to yourself, holdout against the hunger and refuse to eat it which is what Goreng does. Since he knows this food is disgusting but ultimately, hunger wins out and he gives in It’s a very difficult dilemma to deal with and this conflict In-and-of-itself is a key part of the narrative and theme of the movie: how do people deal with being in an extreme situation where their class or level, determines their privilegedHow do we react? how do we deal? Do we try to play along? Do we try to do what we can to screw the other guy? Or do we try and refuse to partake in the institution and systems that put us in this a situation like Goreng tries to do? And this doesn’t have to be for just food, you could apply this similar principle to other things like medicine, fuel, money, weapons, clothing or shelter as some examples

  • And as we see already, it seems that the best option is to partake in the system for your own survival, nothing against the other guy, it's just I'm trying to get by and do what’s best for me A very rational egoist argument. Now, as I said before people do what's best for them or what they think is best for them, so some people toss themselves down the hole, some people murder each other which at least means there’s more food for everyone else or sometimes you get people like Miharu. This crazy mute chick who's obsessed with finding a child-her child specifically. Whose has been kept here in this prison, and she's been a long time going up and down the platform searching for her missing child and who ultimately saves Goreng’s life after Trimagasi tries to kill him. Ultimately this goes on for months, with Goreng losing bits and pieces of his mind to the savagery and craziness of this whole situation Especially when he’s taken to Level 252 where food barely arrives and is given a different cellmate named Imoguiri whose name I totally butchered who was the woman who interviewed Goreng before allowing him entry into the prison and who suffers a grisly fate to save Goreng.

  • Later, Goreng meets his new celly named Baharat, on Level 6 who initially tries to rope climb his way out and up to Level 0 but then Goreng comes up with a different plan If a scarcity of food is the problem then they have to make sure everyone has enough to eat and to do so, the two of them ride the platform down together and ration out the food to the prisoners and as a prelude to the rebellion. The two of them [plan to] send up a panna cotta up to Level 0 as proof that they can change the system and have the conviction to not mess up their plan. Although this proves way more difficult than expected because there are more than 300 levels, in fact, there are 333 and usually, by floor 100, there’s no more food left but the scraps of scraps. This still holds true even with the rationing but when the duo finally arrives at the bottom they find a child, Miharu's child, to whom they give the cream dessert [edit: NOT CHEESE] before sending her up on the platform, back up to Level 0. With the film ending with the child rising, leaving behind Goreng and Baharat. So with all of that said, it’s very clear that this movie is very artsy. It’s not your typical film: there’s a message here there are fantastical elements here, there is a clear thesis statement being made that gives this movie a "character. And it’s because of these factors that I believe you shouldn’t look at this movie like a strange, unexplainable and twist ending movie like we usually cover on this channel. Instead, you should look at this as a story This film is very much a fable or an allegory like Plato’s Cave with a very clear takeaway about humanity what drives us to betray each other and how do we resolve that? My takeaway is that the big thing that does so in the first place, that is to say, that divides us are the systems that are in place: the film is set in a dystopian future where resources are scarce and people voluntarily enter prison because there are net benefits which are absurd to me But as we see, the whole things kinda scam with people set up for failure when a crucial part of the existing is limited a.k.a. food and so the haves and the have-nots are divided instantly by their levels With those in the lower crusts assuredly despising those on top all the while suffering from starvation and insanity brought upon by hunger and to have some sense of agency. These people go to extreme lengths like killing each other or cannibalizing for the sake of survival.
  • While those up top, have to live with guilt or apathy of their feasting: Do they eat just enough to get by? Do they eat as much as they can since in a month they might be able to eat as much Food anymore? Should we think of me Or should we think of you? there’s a very clear class warfare theme going on throughout this movie although this film doesn't just focus on the ups and downs of being up and down. It also looks at class warfare horizontally, that is to say, what divides people who are in the same boat? Tamagasi does whatever he can to screw over the other inmates because that is as much power as he can get inside of here besides simply killing his celly. Other than that there’s not much to do. Though at the same time, you have someone like Miharu who does kill Tamagasi out of her own moral code, although what divides her from Tamagasi is her psychological and intrinsic need and desire which is the want to find her child in this prison and Whether she knew it or not but by saving Goreng, she allows Goreng to fulfill this want for her by the end of the film and rescue her child by putting her on the platform heading up to Level 0.

  • Conversely, the film also talks about what drives people together:familiarity and selflessness like with Imoguiri whose name I again butchered and who as I said before, Goreng knew before being imprisoned, because she was his interviewer and who ultimately sacrifices her body for Goreng’s survival Now the thing is the woman herself didn’t know that it would be this bad in here and as a former interviewer who sent people to this pit, her sacrifice would be the first step towards making up for potentially sending hundreds to their deaths and enacting change within through Goreng and his stomach, giving Goreng the strength to continue on in this prison and potentially enact change inside and who ultimately succeeds by meeting up and working with Baharat and together they bond over their simple and heroic plan. Their humane plan to control the system, inversely, for the betterment of everyone who is controlled by said system. Throwing away the rational egoism and pessimism for something more optimistic if utilitarian.Sort of like an ant colony kept inside a glass box by a human, there’s not much they can do to break the glass, so might as well as start digging in this sand Much in a similar way, the prisoners have to exploit the system and do what they can with the rules provided and it's very clear that There are a big theme and message here about overconsumption and sustainability.

  • A society that is constrained and limited in resource, must be smart with how they manage their resources. So if the resources are allocated in such a way that only a small number of people can benefit, you screw over a lot of people which morally is wrong and probably isn't going to work in your favor in the long term Because even then, the film proposes that the position of those at the top is precarious and those people won’t always be up there which is an interesting take on the whole issue of resources and resource management. Now mind you these resources don't have to strictly be food They can also be manpower As evidence of this idea, by the end of the film, we Goreng and Baharat themselves become these human resources as pioneers of the food which is ironic considering that the words ‘Goreng’ and ‘Bharat’ refer to fried foods and a spice blend respectively. Kind of like a Dragon Ball Z naming scheme going on over here but anyway, In the end, we as people have got to lift each other up, we have to do what we can with what we got, and if the possible fight against the injustice within a system like a knight of a chivalric story. Goreng himself goes from "just some dude" to what could be described as a knight, having a just cause to fight for, a maiden to save, as well as his own giants to slay whether they be a person or a system And I think that we have got to do that too: be humanistic, be empathetic, be hopeful that we can enact change even if we have to go out on the frontlines to ration out what supplies and resources we have even if it's at our own expense like skills, talents, experience, or worst case scenario--our lives. Because nothing lasts forever and the carrying capacity of the planet is only going to decrease until solutions are found. Stop gaps or otherwise. We have to approach this issue with the hope of Esther Boserup rather than the cynicism of Thomas Malthus And one last thing before I go, ironically, although Don Quixote was a satire of romantic stories of dashing knights saving fair maidens and being utterly idealistic and lambasting such ideals: the story, the Don Quijote tale a satire, led to a resurgence of the very genre, Cervantes was trying to make fun of

  • In the end, hope and idealism is the way forward, regardless of where you stand on the political spectrum, and in the current political climate, with the activism, the division, and outspokenness of people in many different countries: I think we should keep in mind that we all live here on the planet in a boring neo-cyberpunk corporate world full of organizations and systems that want to keep us at each other’s throats instead of knocking on the doors of the upper echelons. But I digress, what do you guys think? Do you agree with the points I made? Do you think the movie was a bit too blunt or preachy? What is your takeaway from the film?


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