The Message of The Platform

By Kimberly Bermudez

The Platform is a horror-thriller movie about surviving in a tower-style “Vertical Self-Management Center” where each floor houses two residents. It is essentially a prison where inmates live by eating food put on only one platform. The platform goes floor to floor going to each and every level even if there is no food left. At the end of the month they’re randomly rotated to a new level. If they’re assigned a low level, there’s a high chance of there not being any food left on the platform. Since they have to put up with this for a month, some end up succumbing to cannibalism or killing themselves. The people at the top stuff their faces with food and leave nothing by the time it gets to the lower levels. It shows the brutal side of real life, where people are greedy and selfish.

One of the characters, Goreng, eventually tries to send a message to the Administration, those who are running the system, that change can happen. He and another inmate, Baharat, set out to break the chain of greed and go onto the platform and try to feed everyone on every level along with also leaving one dish, the panna cotta, for the Administration to see. They feed those who are hungry and kill those who go against them.

They reach the very last floor, level 333, and find a little girl. The child is hungry and they have only the panna cotta left, but Baharat insists it’s the message for the higher-ups. They eventually do the right thing and give it to her. They then realize the girl is actually the message.

They rest and wait for the platform to come again tomorrow to go to the top. Baharat dies from injuries and only Goreng and the girl are left.

In the end, the girl is put on the platform by herself because she is pure and hasn’t sinned, while Goreng gets off the platform because he is not the message since he has committed sins, like killing people and committing cannibalism. She is sent to the top in hopes that the Administration got the message.

Many are skeptical of what actually went down. The theory is that Goreng actually died way before he got to the bottom so the little girl wasn’t real. According to NME, director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia said, “Goreng is dead before he arrives, and that’s just his interpretation of what he felt he had to do.”

Ironically, in the middle of the movie, you actually see the panna cotta get to the top but the Administration did not understand the message and blames one of the chefs for the inmates not eating it because there was hair on it. The message is lost and the cycle continues.

The movie showed what capitalism can do to each other. The people at the top will always be selfish and take what they want, even if they don’t need it, and the people at the bottom will continue to suffer at their expense. Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia told The Guardian, “It’s an allegory about the distribution of wealth.” The movie shows you the uncomfortable truth of how society is and how hard it is to change.

To watch the movie you can stream it on Netflix. Many are encouraging a sequel to The Platform. Although it seems like a stand-alone film, there could be room for a second part to it. Hopefully Netflix can make it happen since there are many questions that need to be answered.

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