Many incredible sci-fi films have been released in recent years examining the growing class disparity continually seen around the world, emphasizing the greed of the wealthy elite in juxtaposition with the suffering of the poor. One such film, 2019’s The Platform, serves as a thrilling allegory that will make you reconsider greed and inequality while simultaneously leaving you shocked and on the edge of your seat. The Platform is currently available to stream on Netflix.
The Platform is streaming on Netflix and is a look at wealth disparity
The Platform follows a prisoner named Goreng as he wakes up in a concrete holding cell within “The Pit.” The Pit is a tower-style prison with a controversial method of inmate control, opting to feed its inmates once per day via a descending slab that offers a wide array of foods.
Prisoners are allotted two minutes to choose and eat their food before the slab continues moving downward, and are heated to death if they attempt to keep their food for later.
Obviously, this creates a horrifying dilemma in prisoners from the top down. Though prisoners are reassigned randomly to a new level each month, those at the top routinely eat the most off the platform, leaving little or nothing for those at the bottom.
On the rare occasion that a prisoner stands on the platform and attempts to ride to a lower level, they become the victim of cannibalization from the starving prisoners below.
In a shocking twist that makes the prison even more horrifying, sentencing lengths seem to be somewhat arbitrary and highly unfair. Goreng spends six months in the facility on a volunteer basis in order to qualify for a diploma, while his cellmate Trimagasi has been sentenced to one year for an act of manslaughter.
As prisoners continue to suffer from a lack of sustenance from the platform, many of them begin to lose their wits, becoming homicidal, cannibalistic, and unpredictable with each passing day.
After spending five months in the Pit, Goreng and his latest cellmate Baharat find themselves on the sixth level, as close to the top as they’ve ever been. In an act of rebellion, the pair decide to repair prisoner relations and send a message to the prison’s corrupt administration.
They ride the platform all the way to the last level, rationing food in appropriate portions the entire way down, to ensure that everyone is fed properly. Though their plan is noble, it is met with a great deal of resistance, and the pair must fight their way to the bottom to ensure prisoners at the top do not take all of the food for themselves.
The Platform first premiered during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival
The Platform is a Spanish film, translated from El Hoyo in its native language. The film touts an ensemble cast consisting of Iván Massagué, Emilio Buale Coka, Alexandra Masangkay, Zorion Eguileor, and Antonia San Juan. The film was shot chronologically over a period of six weeks, allowing the performers very little time to transform their bodies into the physical shape needed to portray their characters.
Before The Platform began streaming on Netflix, it first premiered during the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, ultimately winning the underground cult award for People’s Choice of Midnight Madness films. While premiering at the festival, The Platform managed to impress Netflix executives enough to secure a streaming deal on-site, allowing the film to release on the streamer in March 2020.
That timing turned out to be perfect for a film about political revolution to arrive on Netflix. The month marked the first in a series of worldwide shutdowns and pandemic protocols in accordance with the COVID-19 virus that swept the planet.
During the lockdowns, wealth disparity became a massive issue, as billionaires across the world managed to massively increase their wealth as many poor or working-class people were pushed into hard times due to the loss of their jobs or exposure to the virus. As a result, The Platform received widespread attention from viewers at home who felt the intense subject matter of the film was strangely prescient.
The Platform garnered mostly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike, winning accolades from a number of festivals and award ceremonies including the Catalan Film Academy’s Gaudi Awards as well as the 34th Goya Awards and the 33rd European Film Awards. The Platform is available to stream on Netflix now if you’ve got the stomach for it.