The Platform movie review: This Netflix horror fest is timely

Manoj Kumar R
The Platform

The Platform is streaming on Netflix.

There couldn’t have been a better time for Netflix to release The Platform as the world has gone into a survival frenzy, courtesy the coronavirus. At the time when we are crowding the supermarkets and clearing out essentials fearing a lockdown, we are barely worried about those people who would be deprived of these necessary goods. And this movie is here to make us feel guilty about our grocery-hoarding frenzy.

The Platform is set in a tower-style prison where an exotic meal is prepared daily by a team of top chefs. The catch is this lavish seven-course meal needs to be shared among the inmates of the prison. People who are on the top sections of the tower are the lucky ones. They get plenty of food to eat. And the quantity of meal reduces as it is lowered down the tower. By the time, it reaches the 50th cell, the platform carrying the magnificent feast is all empty.

To make this a fair game, the administration of the facility keeps rotating the positions of the cellmates monthly. People in the top are put in below sections, and people from the bottom are elevated to the top. Now, we may expect that those prisoners who had suffered starvation and inhuman conditions would act more civilised and be more considerate of others. Now they are on the top, they would use their position to help others, right? Absolutely, not. The hunger and anger blind them to the suffering of others. Everyone is filled with so much hate that they don’t wish good for others. They find no need to make an effort to change the practice for a greater good. Or even give a thought about those starving right under their nose.

A popular anecdote attributed to anthropologist Margaret Mead is going viral on the internet in the wake of coronavirus pandemic. When Margaret was asked what was the first sign of civilization in culture, she said, “A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilisation starts.”

In the animal kingdom, a broken leg is a sign of weakness and certain death. What separates human civilisation from animal kingdom depends on whether the man with a broken thigh was nursed to recovery or was he taken advantage of and eaten alive.

The gore in the movie is spine-chilling, and certain scenes blur the lines between the character traits of humans and animals. It is a horror fest, where purging is a way of life.

Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s Spanish horror thriller is very heavy-handed. Writers David Desola and Pedro Rivero have not burdened themselves with the responsibility of drafting a script with nuance and layers. This movie is a direct assault on our consciousness to wake-up and see what happens when we exploit given resources without worrying about others.