By Steve Newton
My teenage son suggested we watch The Platform on Netflix last night, and man is that one crazy-ass, whacked-out dystopian horror flick.
Gory as hell too, if you’re into that kinda thing.
Iván Massagué stars as Goreng, who wakes up in a grubby concrete cell with a copy of Don Quixote and a freaky older guy named Trimigasi (Zorion Eguileor). Turns out they’re confined to a tower-like prison where each level has a big hole cut in the floor and ceiling, through which the titular table-like structure passes once a day. On the platform is a vast array of delicious food, which each prisoner gets to eat from for two minutes before it carries on down to the next level.
Sure, it might sound like an okay way to do time, reading about the Man of La Mancha and waiting to pig out, but the problem is there’s over 200 levels in the tower, and the grub comes from the top, so if you’re stuck way down in cell #171 there’s not much left to snack on by the time the smorgasbord hits your floor.
The notion is that, if each person took just enough to get by, there’d be plenty for everyone. But that’s not always how people act. Have you tried buying toilet paper lately?
As social commentary The Platform couldn’t be more timely, but director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia isn’t concerned with just making people think: he wants to shock them even more. So besides the gross scenes of people squishing food and spitting it up there’s cannibalism, decapitation, stabbings, bludgeonings, and doggy disembowelment. One poor sap even gets shat on right in the face.
The goodness of humanity triumphs in the end, though.