By Seth Lukas Hynes
Starring Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor and Emilio Buale Coka
The Platform is an intelligent, gut-wrenching Spanish dystopian horror-thriller.
Goreng (Iván Massagué) awakes inside a tower-like prison, where the residents of each level eat the leftovers from above.
A taut, gruesome social satire about class and survival, The Platform has shades of High Rise, Snowpiercer and the Jorge Luis Borges short story The Library of Babel.
Goreng’s cellmate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) provides some levity through dry wit, and they form a guarded friendship through the exchange of information, but their situation quickly breaks down when they are transferred to a deeper level with no food, as cruelty and desperation erupt to the surface.
Hunger, fatigue, the unpredictability of the vast yet claustrophobic prison, the contempt from above and eerie minimalist sound design all generate a nerve-wracking atmosphere. Goreng grows visibly weary throughout the film, and there is a disquieting sense of his idealism wearing down as he adapts to the cruel system and accepts the scraps from above each day.
Even as Goreng leads a revolution of sorts in the final act, his efforts to challenge or escape the system are exhausting and bloody, and like Parasite, The Platform starkly illustrates how when downtrodden people try to advance within a corrupt system, they only end up hurting each other.
While not for the squeamish, The Platform is one of the best films I’ve seen in a long time, and is available for streaming on Netflix.