What’s In Your Cosmetic Products?

Blog, Law and Entertainment, Lifestyle

“. . . the urge to decorate ourselves is one of the most fundamentals instincts of human nature” [1]

When completing my Master of Science in Law at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, I wrote a demand for change regarding Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations on cosmetics. Cosmetics, according to the FDA, include makeup, moisturizers, hair dyes, straighteners, and removers, perfumes, colognes and nail care products. Some of these products are ones that I use everyday. Before I wrote this paper, I was fascinated (and still am) with the power and influence the beauty industry has on women and girls.

I LOVE beauty products. Considering I recently went to Sephora, this is a perfect time to introduce you three of my latest products. First, the Clinique: Take the Day Off is ESSENTIAL for anyone who wears makeup. This is an oil based makeup remover that leaves your face super soft and clear of any residue. If you are wondering if your makeup remover wipes are better, they aren’t. This is the sh*t and this little size is just $10. That’s less than a manicure people, so pull out your card and buy it already.

Second, one of my friends recommended I get the Grande Lash- MD lash enhancing serum. Actually it wasn’t a friend friend. Rather someone I met talking at the grocery store. Quarantine really has me lacking in human interactions so I talk to people any chance I get. Her judgment was on point. I have been on a quest for more bold and beautiful lashes (can you blame me?!). I usually get my beauty advice from my friends in medical school, so the MD in the title makes it looks hella official. . . I’m into it.

Confession time: The Moroccan Oil Body Polishing Scrub is a free sample, but it has grown to be one of my absolute FAVORITES. I feel very refreshed and it leaves your skin super smooth. . . no complaints here.

ANYWAY, I got lost in a cosmetic wonderland. Back to my paper.

I wanted to write something that touched my life and could potentially make an impact on others and how we view everyday cosmetics. As a disclaimer, this paper was written in 2018. Some sources and statistics used may be outdated. However, its message remains as a powerful reminder to uphold the integrity of the beauty industry through proper regulation of products.

Hope you enjoy!

The cosmetic industry is expected to reach 130 billion dollars in global sales by 2019 [2]. Its success is attributed to its flexibility. The cosmetic industry, driven by the preoccupation with youthful image and aesthetics, is timeless and continuously shaped by social trends and identity. Usage of cosmetics and personal care products function to redefine gender lines, push global boundaries, and positively influence self confidence. These aspects promote evolution, but allow the cosmetic industry to feed off of a self-regulatory structure. It is essential to modernize FDA’s statutory authority over cometic products because its current self-regulatory framework presents significant problems in establishing safety and guidelines for consumers. Modernizing FDA authority over cosmetics with an Act that enforces (1) pre-market testing procedures, (2) ingredient safety assessments and (3) a centralized cosmetic database will provide uniformity of products and standards while protecting consumers worldwide. Examining and enforcing these updates to the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act of 1938 will require a comparison and adoption of regulations set forth by the European Union (EU) Cosmetic Directive.

Is There A Cosmetic Regulation Or Just An Illusion?

“In regulating cosmetics, the agency functions like a highway patrolman. . . the FDA regulation of cosmetics is entirely ex post.” [3]

The 1930s sparked a dramatic expansion of cosmetic products in the marketplace, allowing many consumers to assume there was protection where none existed. The disparity between regulatory reality and consumer presumptions provided to be dangerous especially when cosmetic products began harming consumers. Cuticle removers removed both fingernails and cuticles, mascara’s binding ingredient was rat poison and other personal products consisted of acetone, formaldehyde and mercury. [4] Publicizing these stories gained publicity and propagated the formation of the 1938 Act. Lack of updating the 1938 Act leaves consumers blindly trusting cosmetic companies with their products with no pre-market testing procedures. In a multi-billion dollar industry, citizens should prioritize the safety and function of the cosmetic industry. Although publicized media should be used as a political agent, solely relying on this method is not effective to change legislation.

Modernizing the current statute will allow the FDA to actively oversee the safety of cosmetic products before entering the marketplace. Despite myths, harmonizing the cosmetic industry promotes the same goals as a self-regulatory system: autonomy, growth and entrepreneurship. Valued at 74 billion euros in 2016, the EU cosmetic market thrives under regulation, making it the largest in the world. [5] Pre-market surveillance will shift consumer safety as the primary objective. Testing the chemical structure, level of exposure and an analysis of product safety based its application (ie. lips, scalp, eyes) [6] will hold the industry accountable for its actions. Building trust through actions rather than assumptions will yield greater economic equity while promoting consumer advocacy.

Trustworthy Ingredients

The U.S. Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) is an independent non-profit organization responsible for reviewing active cosmetic ingredients and assessing their conditions for use. After its establishment 1976, the FDA refused to create a federal safety assessment program for cosmetic ingredients. Although CIR is financed by the cosmetic industry, scientists are independent academics who are prohibited to work for a cosmetic company. Configuration of this organization was designed to promote a sense of collaboration between the public, government and the industry. Sure, research done by CIR can help mitigate concerns but, it fails to establish any legal obligation for cosmetic firms. Still, the 1983 Act does not require “premarket testing, premarket notification, premarket approval, or any other form listing [ingredient] registration.” [7]

Failure to adequately check substance prior to market places profits over people, promoting capitalistic reputation over the protection of consumers. The products that all citizens use everyday are put on the market until they are caught deceiving customers by claiming “all-natural” products despite their use of harmful synthetics, designing shampoos that cause hair loss or promoting “Drinkable Sunscreen” with healing properties. [8] Updating the 1938 Act with an ingredient selection approved and recorded by the FDA will not eliminate trust between consumers and cosmetic firms. Instead, it will provide a centralized ingredient standard that enables a clear safety evaluation of cosmetic ingredients before it can potentially harm consumers.

Solutions for an Innovative Industry

The FDA set the standards for the beauty industry in 1938. Since then, the cosmetic industry has transformed, updated and evolved with the progression of technology. The rapid globalization of the cosmetic industry has encouraged the development of advancing technologies. This shift in global perspective requires companies to change their business plans, and justify modernization of the cosmetic regulatory structure. Technologically advanced skincare products can now function as illegal new drugs, and filtered through the cosmetic industry distinguished as “advanced skin care products.”

The regime of self regulation has grown out of its historical origins. The emergence of the beauty industry has become an empire and the FDA’s reliance on self-regulation places burden on consumers to be informed, vigilant and aware to safeguard their own health. Self regulation can be more effective when cosmetic industry players are more transparent with their consumers with detailed information about safety testing and the standards used. Establishing a pre-market surveillance procedure, ingredient assessment and a centralized database will provide a robust, internationally recognized standard that enforces product safety while catering to technological developments in the cosmetic industry.


I understand we are at a moment in time where we are constantly in a delta of change. Sure, the lack of cosmetic regulation allows anyone to open up a cosmetic line. . . but at what cost? Should we continue to place the responsibilities of cosmetics on companies or should we have more regulation? Will more regulation ensure the safety of cosmetic products?

Until next time,


[1] Lindy Woodhead, War Paind: Madame Helena Rubensteing and Miss Elizabeth Arden: Their Lives, Theiir Times, Their Rivarly 10 (2003)

[2] Forbes Magazine

[3] Richard, Merill, Science for Judges II: the Practice of Epidemiology and Administrative Agency Created Science: FDA Regulatory Requirements as Tort Standards (2004).

[4] Examples of Cases from the FDA “Chamber of Horrors: complied to amend the 1906 that would five jurisdiction over the beauty industry.

[5] Cosmetic Europe: The Personal Care Association

[6] EU Cosmetic Regulation

[7] Petr Barton Hutt, A History of Government Regulation of Adulteration and Misbranding of Cosmetics in Cosmetic Regulation in a Competitive Environment

[8] “Drinkable Sunscreen”: Osmisis LLC and Harmonized Water LLC located in Iowa claimed that they have treated water in order to have “amazing medicinal or cosmetic properties,” including the abilities to “protect against cancer causing UV rays, repel mosquitos that might carry the Zika virus.” Source” Dietary Supplemental & Cosmetics Legal Bulletin, Issue 48. March 2017.

What’s Your Eat Pray Love?

Blog, Lifestyle

This unprecedented time could be jaded with negative connotations of illness, unemployment and uncertainty. However, many of us are taking this as an opportunity to rise to our own occasion.

Exercising, learning a new skill, and more sleep and are a few aspects of life people have been trying to improve on during the pandemic. However, I wanted to take it a step further so I re-read the book Eat Pray Love while relaxing in the sun this past weekend.

There are a few reasons I keep coming back to this book. For one it is a self discovery book and I love that shit. You won’t believe how many self help books I have read over the years. Trust me, there are more blog posts to come.  I believe there is always an opportunity to provide good in this world. Why not start with yourself?

Second, I love the aspect of learning from the environment around you. When I learned Spanish in Argentina, I thought it was amazing to immerse myself in the culture and rhythm of the city while learning a new language.

Of course now, more than ever, I am dreaming of travel. But since I can’t go to India, Indonesia or Italy (the three locations in the book), I figured I come up with my own version of Eat Pray Love from home.

Kitchen: Building a healthy relationship with food.

Before quarantine, I thought spending time in the kitchen was a bit overrated. I often meal prepped the same meals, not really interested in expanding my knowledge about cooking in general. Well, I hate to admit it but this is still the case.

HOWEVER, I have enjoyed the idea of spending time with my love ones over the dinner table. Although I have to resist opening my fridge 100  ten times a day out of boredom. Without numerous distractions in our daily life, I started to peel back the onion to understand my relationship with food. Food is more than a foundation to support our body’s basic growth, development and function. Rather, sitting around the table and enjoying food has many symbolic meanings for love, friendship, family, helps us cope with stressful moments, and unites people together. 

Outside: Staying Active and Getting Sun

This is is self explanatory, but I have found it imperative to get some sun at least once a day. Most of the time, I walk around the block and act like I’m working out while listening to pump up music. No matter how you get it, spending at least 10 minutes out in the sun will boost your vitamin D absorption which can uplift your health and well being. Plus it gets my lazy ass off the couch. . . which is always a win. . . and who doesn’t like winning? 

A Night In: Take Time for Reflection

Although we all may be getting into the swing of quarantine by now, it is never too late to start with self-reflection. I have also found writing these blogs and doing journals as an excellent source of self-reflection. When your ideas are put on paper, you can clearly see what you want. Sometimes I let my thoughts run along the page with no restrictions or judgment. This time to be vulnerable and open with yourself can be liberating and relaxing.

We are more than half way through the year. If there is something that you want to change, start a business, move to a new place or improve your finances– now is the time to do it. It is never too late to make a change in your life. 

I hope you enjoyed my version of Eat, Pay, Love. . . what’s yours? Would love to hear about it in the comments below or send me an email at reelreviewbylauryn@gmail.com 

Until next time,

xoxo Lauryn 

Video Games and the Law

Blog, Law and Entertainment

There’s a lot of extra time to play video games. I think I have spent the past couple of days playing Super Smash Bros. . . in fact I am playing some right now. . .

Before quarantine I wasn’t familiar with Fornite, NBA 2k or any other video game. However, it might be the end of live sports games for a while so I figured I’d grab my own personal controller and see what things are all about.

At the intersection of law and this new found love entertainment comes an exciting case out of North Carolina.

U.S. District Judge Terrence W. Boyle of the Eastern Division of North Carolina held Michael Heidbreder must proceed his case by arbitration pursuant to the End User License Agreement (“EULA”) with Fornite developer, Epic Games.

Michael Heidbreder, a Missouri resident filed a punitive class action alleging Epic Games’ vulnerable security allowed hackers to charge fraudulent in-game purchases to his debit card between November 2018 and January 2019. Heidbreder brought both statutory and common law claims including negligence, breach of implied contract and violation of state consumer-protection and data-breach statutes.

In October, Epic Games moved to compel Heidbreder’s claims to arbitration, pursuant to the EULA. Features to the arbitration provision include: “ (1) an agreement to arbitrate on an individual basis only; (2) delegation clause granting the arbitrator the power to determine whether a specific dispute is governed by the arbitration clause; (3) a venue selection clause giving user the choice of venue between their home state or North Caroline; (4) Epic Games’ agreement to pay arbitration fees under $10,000, share costs after $10,00 and not seek attorney fee’s against users and (5) a 30 -day opt-out provision, giving users a 30 day window after agreeing to the End User License Agreement to opt out of arbitration provision.”

Heidbreder presented three compelling, yet unsuccessful arguments.

First, he asserts his minor son lacked contractual capacity to agree to the EULA. Judge Boyle rejected this argument noting “under the basic principles of principal-agent law” his son acted as Heidbreder’s agent giving him both actual and apparent authority to agree.

Second, Heidbreder argues privacy related matters are outside the scope of arbitration. According to common law, when the parties contract delegates the arbitrability question too an arbitrator, a court may not override the contract.” Henry Schein, Inc. v. Archer & White Sales, Inc., 139 S. Ct. 524, 529 (2019). Therefore, the arbitrator, rather than the court, determines the scope of these provisions.

Lastly, Heidbreder claims the class action waiver, arbitration clause and class action clause are unconscionable because Epic Games is applying the agreement retroactively. Judge Boyle acknowledges yet quibbles Heidbreder’s last argument noting the terms at issue “are common terms in modern contracts that have been recently sanctioned by the courts and can hardly be considered substantively unconscionable.”

This case appears to be successful for Epic Games. However, this “game” could face a turn for the worse if parents stop allowing their children to make in-game purchases using their credit card information. However, with extending stay-at-home orders and uncertainty about school returning in the fall, I highly doubt this would happen.

What’s your favorite video game during COVID-19?

Until next time,

Lauryn <3

How to WOW an Admission Committee for College or Graduate School

Blog, Confessions of a College Girl

When it comes to applying to schools, your essay boost your application significantly. Crafting a personal statement has galvanized me to take on new opportunities and I am fortunate to have prospered at UCLA, in my Masters at Northwestern and law school.

Yes I am a perpetual student and I wouldn’t change it for the world. With just a personal statement I’ve gone from a high school student to a law student published in the International Heart and Lung Transplantation Journal, legal newsletters, an upcoming article in The Washington Post, and my own fiction novel.

My mission is to increase the access of higher education to you. More importantly, I want to share the same love and excitement I had when I got into school. You can get into college, law school, medical school, off the waitlist or transfer to the university meant for you 🙂

One of my clients emailed me recently after working with him on his Letter of Continued Interest (LOCI). He had been waitlisted at a law school and reached out to me for guidance and editing. After our session here’s what he had to say:

My Application Package includes:

  • Personal Statement
  • Secondaries/ Supplemental applications
  • Resume editing

I believe in creating and offering people equal access to college and graduate school.

Wanna be a nerd too?

Email me at reelreviewbylauryn@gmail.com to book with me and get started.

Now is the best time. . . it’s not like you have anything else to do #quarantine.

Until next time,

Lauryn 🙂



Heyy heyy

Wanted to give you a HUGE thank you for following Reel Review! The family is 100 members strong! Appreciate all the love, support and friendly comments.

Writing has become a large part of my life. So happy you enjoy my articles after I Netflix and Chill .

You’re all my motivation. It makes me smile reading all of your comments and I am happy to write on my favorite topic: film and television.

Thank you for being the best! Happy quarantine.

Until next time,

Lauryn <3


Like what you read? Donate $5 to buy me coffee so I can have the fuel I need to keep producing great content! If you want to give more, feel free to up the quantity (: No Pay Pal, no worries! Click directly on your branded credit card, gift card or debit card logo and donate as a guest! If any problems arise, send an email to reelreviewbylauryn@gmail.com and you can donate through Square, Inc.


Comcast Corp. v. National Association of African American-Owned Media

Blog, Law and Entertainment

Earlier this year the Supreme Court issued its opinion about a racial discrimination case. The justices decided this case by a 9-0 vote.

Bryon Allen, entrepreneur and owner of Entertainment Studios Network (ESN) sought to have Comcast carry its channel. Comcast rejected this proposition, claiming bandwidth constraints and lack of demand for ESN programs. ESN alleged Comcast violated §1981(a), a statute that guarantees “all persons… the same right…to make and enforce contracts… as is enjoyed by white citizens.” The District Court dismissed the complaint for failing to show Comcast would have contracted with ESN, but-for racial motivations. The Ninth Circuit disagreed, holding ESN had a viable claim because it only needed to show race played a “sole role” in Comcast’s decision-making. In order for ESN to seek redress, it must demonstrate that, but for Comcast’s unlawful conduct, its alleged injury would not have occurred. These essential elements must stay constant through the life of the lawsuit.

In a slightly fractured unanimous decision, the Supreme Court held, that to prevail, a plaintiff must initially prove that but for race, it would not have suffered the loss of a legally protected right. Justice Gorusch acknowledged but rejected ESN’s argument that §1981 creates an exception to proving but-for causation and essential elements of a claim do not need be constant throughout the lawsuit. ESN further claims that it should overcome at least a motion to dismiss if it can plausibly show race was a determining factor in the decision. Instead, Gorusch reasoned that, statutory language along with past precedent, suggest §1981 follows the general rule. Statutory language of §1981 guarantees equal rights enjoyed by white citizens and nothing in the statute signals this test should change when confronted with a motion to dismiss. Gorusch’s examination of legal precedent and neighboring provision §1982 reveal that courts have interpreted “because of race” to be associated with but-for causation. ESN asks the court to rely on the “motivating factor” test in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with no avail. The Court reasons ESN mistakenly misplaces a process-oriented right with the motivating factor test. Thus, the court vacated the judgement of the court of appeals and remanded the case to determine the sufficiency of ESN’s pleadings under the correct legal rule.

 In a four-page opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment, Ginsburg agreed but quibbled that racial violation under §1981 protects the right “to make and enforce contracts” which includes the manner in which the contract is carried out. Therefore, if race accounted for Comcast’s conduct during the contract-formation process, it should not escape liability for those injuries.

The Supreme Court held that a plaintiff alleging racial discrimination in contracts must show that the plaintiff’s race was the actual cause of the alleged injury in failing to reach agreement on a contract. 

Ultimately, this case was a set back compared to traditional in civil rights cases. As the Supreme Court continues to hear cases via teleconference due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will be interesting to see how other cases may impact law and entertainment. . .

Feel free to share your thoughts below!

Until next time,


Essential Shows That Improve Your Life

Blog, TV Shows

Time is what you make of it. But sometimes, it’s nice to have a little extra push. My taste in Netflix has changed throughout the past week. I’m never going to get tired of a good romantic comedy, but I am also been more curious about . . . well everything. Since we cannot go outside, I decided to bring the world to me. Here are shows that are thought-provoking, engaging, and actually make you a better human.

100 Humans: Life Questions Answered

Have you ever wondered if you sit on the toilet properly? Probably not. But this show answers that question so it must be good, right?

Here, one hundred humans participate in experiments that answer questions about well… everything. Using scientific data and tons of dad jokes, these experiments reveal the scientific basis around attraction, the best age to be alive and the proper toilet technique! FINALLY, a show that tackles essential issues.

Tidying up with marie kondo

Still think your clothes from seven years ago will fit? Do you have an impressive collection of random articles under your bed? Is that pile of clean laundry still on your floor from last week? Wow at this point I am just naming examples about myself hoping you relate. . .

Don’t fret, Marie Kondo will definitely help you learn about the joy of organization and de-cluttering 🙂

If you don’t, oh well. Rock those flair jeans and corduroy pants. #quarantinechic

You can also buy her fabulous book


Who doesn’t wanna learn about little humans?!?! Fifteen babies, thirty six scientists, and one year is all it takes to see if we can answer what it means to be human.

Also, with COVID-19, we all have too much time on our hands. Who knows? We might have a baby boom nine months from now. . .

Plus they are all so CUTE! I literally love babies so much. The whole time I am like

Baby fever is real

There is also another movie on Amazon with Babies around the world which is equally cute you guys! It is a must see


I love this show because it is a colorful collage of intriguing topics. Some might say that it’s difficult to watch a show without a clear path. I think it’s marvelous. It was not created to fit within the confines of a specific audience. Rather, you can jump from episode to episode learning about anything: cryptocurrency, extraterrestrial life, the history of athletic clothing (athlesiure), the science behind the female orgasm and animal intelligence.

I know what you’re thinking. Who am I to tell you how to improve your life? Well besides being totally amazing, I genuinely want to encourage you to think beyond this uncertain time and dive into an industry or topic you’ve always wanted to know 🙂

I now leave you with some fancy quote to try and encourage you to actually watch the shows I recommend. . .

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest

Ben Franklin

Either way, as Kevin Hart would say. . .

Until next time,


How to Properly Watch a Movie


It’s easy to plop in bed with the same clothes you’ve have had on since yesterday and binge watch all episodes of Tiger King.

I love SUV: Special Victims Unit as much as the next person. HOWEVER, this is serious people. Society is trying to dilute the power of cinema. As more people plop in front of their screens after a long day at work, watching a movie at home is now seen as “escapism.” Let’s do more than mindlessly exist in front of ours screens.

Here are three ways steps to ensure you watch a movie properly:

First: Set the scene

I like to start with fixing up my bed and making some tea. This week’s favorite has been Peppermint with a dash of honey.

I love the Traditional Medicinal teas, especially during this time of year because it helps keep me hydrated and the peppermint smells super fresh :). Read some article the other day about the benefits of turmeric so I bought it. Also saw a YouTube video about how honey makes a wonderful natural face mask. You probably weren’t interested in that but I decided to tell you anyway.

If you are looking for the BEST detox facemask while you are watching a movie I recommend this one by teami 🙂

You’re welcome.

After, I like to dim the lights to prevent glare and turn the volume at just the right speed.

Make sure your pillows are nice and fluffed and the temperature is just right. This isn’t just binge watching. You are watching art come to life.


Cook your third dinner before you press play. I know this seems simple but when I watch movies with my family they be cooking dinner in the background and it is BEYOND annoying. I love them dearly but trust me, they take cooking noodles to another level.

I don’t know about you but I HAVE to snack on something while I am watching. But the snack depends on Genre.

  • If Romantic . . . chocolate or a tub of Halo Top ice cream
  • If comedy . . . pop corn, soda and pizza
  • If action . . . something light like fruit because I snack in higher frequency as the suspense builds
  • Thriller . . . nothing but water because I’m most likely going to scream and if I get anything on the furniture I will be pissed.
  • Any self exploration movie like Under the Tuscan Sun or Eat Pray Love/ any Sex and the City . . . Thai Food. Always Thai food. Always.


Find your Quarantine Chic

I call this, ” I woke up late and realized I ran out of food so I had to stop by Trader Joes but didn’t feel like getting dressed so I sewed this together and owned it”

Nailed it.

It doesn’t have to be perfect. I usually go for a large college hoodie and some sweat pants to be comfortable 🙂

We can all use a little self care. So tonight (or right now) I encourage you to not only watch your favorite movies/ tv shows but savor them.

Movies touch our hearts, awaken our vision and change the way we see things”

Director Martin Scorsese

Until next time,


3 Reasons Brooklyn Nine-Nine is A ten out of ten

Blog, TV Shows

On the surface, Brooklyn Nine Nine is a hilarious television show about a group of New York police detectives. If you are eager to find a new show that will make you laugh and appreciate dry humor. . . this is for you.

Here are the top three reasons to watch Brooklyn Nine-Nine:


The same people who made all of us fall in love with The Office, Parks and Recreation and The Good Place all come together to make this splashing comedy series. It is genuinely funny and the continuous references to Die Hard, Harry Potter and Star Wars will ignite the nerd in you.


Okay I know this is not a legit reason but hear me out. Have you ever clicked on a new show to see how many minutes it is? I have. When I see the remaining time as 1:02:02, I think to myself,

I can only get through 8 episodes today. . .

Not. enough. episodes.

IT’S QUARANTINE TIME and I have PLENTY of time to waste relax. #stayhome

We all have goals and I’m tryna finish a season a day.

cardi b 2019 bbmas GIF by Billboard Music Awards

Luckily each episode is approximately 20 minutes so you can breeze through all 7 seasons in four days no time.

3. Captain Holt

The video speaks for itself. I have found my new favorite character.

All jokes aside, the show has amazing writers. The unique blend of characters go through stories that are funny, but also address life’s greatest challenges: relationships, racial profiling and sexuality. This is why Brooklyn Nine-Nine has such a huge impact on any audience.

So curl up up next to your friend, spouse, wine bottle, boyfriend, chocolate, girlfriend, next door neighbor, little brother, aunt, grandpa, or any other human you’re stuck in the house with.

( yes I know there a dangling preposition… you’ll get the reference once you watch it)

This is a show worth binging.

Gina Linetti GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
my confidence after quarantine

Why let the experience stop there? Since we are all in the house, it is nice to get some human interaction. Take your obsession love of this show to the next level with the Cards Against Humanity version called “Brooklyn Against the Nine Nine.”

Until next time,


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!!


Like what you read? Donate $5 to buy me coffee so I can have the fuel I need to keep producing great content! If you want to give more, feel free to up the quantity (: No Pay Pal, no worries! Click directly on your branded credit card, gift card or debit card logo and donate as a guest! If any problems arise, send an email to reelreviewbylauryn@gmail.com and you can donate through Square, Inc.