Platform: A Social Criticism

Blog, Movies

Note: If you haven’t watched Netflix’s Platform then stop! There are spoilers 🙂

After finishing the film Platform, it’s “obvious” the film centered around the dangers of capitalism and human nature. Goreng (Iván Massagué), a young man who voluntarily enters the prison to get his accredited degree, lies at the epicenter of this social criticism piece. This review we will take a deep dive into some film’s central themes.

First, the film opens up with a quote that remains essential throughout the entire film:

“There are three types of people: those at the top, those at the bottom and those who fall.”

The quote parallels life in the prison, aka the “hole.” People at the top are content with where they are. While those at the bottom don’t have the resource to make change.  People throughout this movie fall both literally and figuratively. Some fall to their death when trying to change levels. For Bahart and Goreng, they intentionally choose to descend into the hole in order to make change and send a message to The Administration.

Second, each prisoner is allowed to bring one item. Goreng chooses to bring Don Quixote, a book written during the Spanish Golden Age by Miguel de Cervantes.

This is an odd choice for Goreng. His roommate brings a knife that sharpens itself as he uses it. While another prisoner brings a rope, hoping to climb up levels himself. Both Platform and Don Quixote center stories around feat versus famine.  I don’t want to give too much away, but if you are interested in classic literature, I would definitely give this a read.

Lastly, the confusing ending. What does it all mean?

After Goreng and Baharat ascend 333 levels, they leave a young girl on the Platform as a message to send to the administration.

I don’t know about you but I was hella confused. Did she make it? Is Goreng dead? Is this all just a dream?

When asked if the message reached the administration,  Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia wrote, “That’s something you should ask society. It’s up to all up to you… it depends on whether we want to remain the most miserable species that have ever set foot on the planet…”

Although his response was grim, allowing the audience to make their own ending gives power to a viewer’s interpretation.

Spoken like a true artist, he further notes,

“As I said before, this is a self-criticism. I don’t feel authorized at all to tell anyone what to do. The film only aspires to explore, not to indoctrinate or to lecture. And, of course, there are many who do what they have to do, but most of us spent the day looking for an excuse.”

Each prisoner entering the “hole” is promised a prize. Whether it is freedom or an accredited diploma these prizes symbolize an individual’s “American Dream.”

As people cling to hope, they soon realize aspirations to reach the top are dramatically inhibited by an oppressive institutionalized system designed to keep them down, sound familiar?

Okay this is Cynical.

The film’s version of humanity is not generous, yet it allows us all to take a step back and ponder about societal inequalities facing us today.

Have a better way to spend your quarantine?

Until next time,

Lauryn 🙂

Have you seen Platform yet? Let me know what you think about it!

If there are any movies you love, let me know! Would love to watch them!!


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