If it was Parasite that created a buzz last year, it is Netflix’s The Platform that has caught the imagination of viewers this year. The sci-fi thriller flick has been trending on Twitter for its brutal premise and stark portrayal of the beastly side of humanity. The trailer, released by Netflix this week, is as terrifying as it is tantalising, pulling you into the depths of the brilliance of the concept and terrific world-building that stand out even in the two-minute trailer. The Platform is a powerful satire on the greed of men that leads the world to a grim reality marked by a skewed social order, unequal proportioning of resources and ultimately, anarchy.
The movie is in Spanish and stars Iván Massagué, Antonia San Juan, Zorion Eguileor, Emilio Buale Coka and Alexandra Masangkay, and is directed by debutant, Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia.
The Platform centres on a tower-like vertical prison with each floor acting as cells to house prisoners. A huge concrete platform slides between the floors, dispensing food to the inmates of every floor. The only hitch – the top floor inmates eat their fill and only then does the platform move to the lower floors. As the platform slides lower and lower, feeding inmates on every floor, next to nothing is left for the inmates on the lowermost floors. Then begins a fight among the hungry inmates, to grab whatever food one can, even going to the extent of killing and….cannibalising on a prisoner who died of starvation.
It’s not as if the platform does not have enough food to feed all. Right at the start, it is laden with a feast enough to feed an entire army. But blinded by greed, the inmates above don’t know what’s enough and what’s excess, leading them to eat more than they need. Just like in the real world, the privileged siphon off more than what they need – money, resources, space – everything that the underprivileged don’t get.
The trailer depicts scenes potent enough to numb the mind. As the starving inmates slowly descend into the madness of hunger, they become hungry beasts ready to attack their own kind to satiate that hunger. The creepy soundtrack and dissonant notes of the disturbing music generate an unease that has to be felt to be understood. Coupled with the horrific scenes, the sound effects escalate the bone-chilling ambience of the movie to another level of unease altogether. The trailer is enough to glean why the movie won the People’s Choice Award for Midnight Madness at the Toronto International Film Festival 2019.
The Platform premieres on Netflix on 20th March 2020.