An analysis of ‘The Platform’, Netflix’s sensation movie

The Platform is one of Netflix's sensation movies. Let's see what the details of his current success are.

Still from the trailer for the movie 'El Hoyo'.

We present an analysis of one of the most popular movies on the platform these days. / Photo: youtube.com/Netflix Spain

LatinAmerican Post | Ariel Cipolla

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Leer en español: Un análisis de ‘El Hoyo’, la película sensación de Netflix

The current situation of the coronavirus pandemic keeps us all in our homes. This is given to avoid contagion situations since the general recommendations are usually to avoid any type of contact with people to minimize exposure to risk.

Thus, people have more free time to spend at home. A sample of all this is the growing impact that streaming platforms are having, as is the case of Netflix. To the extend, that the newspaper El Intransigente mentions that they are having some saturation problems, due to the appearance of “unprecedented traffic”.

Continuing with the case of Netflix, we see that a movie became very popular in recent days: The Platform. It is a Spanish science-fiction movie, directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, which had been released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2019, and was later acquired by the streaming content company. Let's see the explanation of the film.

What is the secret of The Platform?

First of all, we must think of the film starring Iván Massagué as a science fiction story, set in a kind of dystopian world where people find themselves in a prison that has a truly original format: it has a system of levels, where inmates are randomly assigned to one every month.

The viewer needs to solve a puzzle from the start: who runs the prison? They are mentioned as the Administration, but there seems to be no explanation for why they decided on that cell format. However, that is not what really interests: the film bases its operation on the mechanics of survival and the social distribution of wealth.

What is truly shocking is that, unlike what could happen with these stories, the distribution is not to blame for a fixed elite, such as the government or the upper classes. The novelty here is that they are all movable positions since any prisoner can move from the highest floors to the lowest from one month to the next.

Now, what difference is there between being at a high or a low level? The answer is simple: life or death. The 0 floor is the one that belongs to the Administration, which daily lowers an abundant banquet with food (with dishes chosen by the two people who make up all the levels). However, they do not choose them exclusively, since they also eat that of others.

In other words, people who are at a low level do not get to have anything more than empty plates. Those at the top, on the other hand, quickly deplete the food supply, since they are fully aware that it is “a luxury” that they must take advantage of because the following month they could occupy a much lower scale.

As the newspaper La Vanguardia mentions, the problem is that nobody rations the food, although they are fully aware that chance will decide the fate of the ration they may have in the coming days. In other words, "spontaneous solidarity" is lacking, which could be seen as a "communist" method that tries to defeat the system.

Contrary to what logic would indicate, the starvation situation – many times "satiated" through cannibalism – leads them to think of absolute individualism. This is why, if they manage to survive the following month and occupy a better position, they think of no one but themselves, despite knowing that then luck might not accompany them.

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The shocking thing here is that the mechanics themselves are carried out by the jails themselves, since the Administration only deals with the quality of the dishes, but not how it will be handled. In other words, the criticism seems to be oriented towards the anarchy that people generate in a situation of abundance, which affects the entire ecosystem.

The end is living proof of the symbolism of the struggle for power. As Esquire's specialized website mentions, "the film is not an apology for solidarity, but is a faithful reflection of the engines of the human being." Therefore, the end, with the sending of the girl to the zero floor, would be symbolizing that El Moyo's morale has changed.

That is, even the inmates themselves, in the situation of absolute despair, would seem to reject the idea that there is a girl in the place, something that, at least according to the rules in the establishment, is "impossible". Thus, the symbolism of this act could give rise to a sequel that explains the consequences of this decision.

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