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Art and Culture

The Platform (El Hoyo) – A Review

The Platform – directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, is a Spanish dystopian thriller. Set in unknown times, the movie is a metaphor of the capitalist world. Goreng (played by Ivan Massague) goes to a vertical prison, infamously known as The Hole or Vertical Self Management Center, which is a multi storey building where each floor houses two inmates.

Every floor has a huge hole in the middle through which passes a platform filled with food. The platform stays on the floor for exactly two minutes for the inmates to eat. As the platform goes down, there is very little food, mostly none, to eat for the inmates on the floors below. It represents the current class system where the ones on the top are privileged enough to eat whatever they want, who end up over consuming and the ones down below who tail the food chain are left with nothing but empty vessels.

The movie starts with the dialogue – “There are three types of people. Those at the top, those at the bottom and those who fall.” Goreng wakes up on the 48th floor with his inmate Trimagasi. The prisoners are allowed to take one item of their choice with them inside. Goreng chooses to take a book by Don Quixote while Trimagasi’s choice of item is Samurai Plus – a knife that sharpens itself every time it’s used. There’s a dialogue by Trimagasi, “Don’t talk to the people below us, because they are below us. Don’t talk to the people above us, they won’t talk because they’re above us.”

The inmates are reshuffled randomly at the beginning of every month, giving them a chance to live on the top floors. “Eat or be eaten?” Circumstances become so dire for the people living on the lower floors (including Goreng at one point) that they have to kill their inmates and eat their flesh for the whole month just so they can survive.

In his fifth month inside The Hole, Goreng, along with his newest inmate, Baharat, decide to send a message to the administration at the top, a message in the form of an untouched luxurious delicacy that would tell the administration about the change that they wanted to bring. A change that could shake the capitalist classist system.

While doing this, Goreng ends up on the last floor, where he finds something strange. He is then put into a dilemma and has to make a decision about sending the message. The film’s final few minutes reveal the biggest message. Left as an open ended story, it is for you to decide how you perceive it. Obvio.

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