‘Doesn’t feel like any other movie’

Netflix shocks the world with Spanish thriller sure to spark conversation (SPOILERS)

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With all this free time on our hands, things to do can seem scarce. Activities once enjoyed during free time can seem played out, and being stuck inside can make one start to feel crazy. Luckily, Netflix has brought me and my fellow streamers a mind-bending psychological thriller, “The Platform,” that doesn’t feel like any other movie. It sparked a lot of interesting thoughts and ideas, even in the mind-numbing blur of quarantine. This movie is the perfect blend of skillful production and thoughtful purpose to get a message across and take a few hours off our hands.

Netflix Originals are all-together slept on and ignored. They’ve really had to step it up in the world of streaming services, and this has clearly sparked the creativity, variety and quality in their content, as evidenced by “The Platform.” 

The movie takes place in the future in a vertical prison where each day a platform stops at every level for two minutes. The two cellmates at each level get to eat the scraps of those above. It explicitly says there is enough food for everyone. However, people who see the food first take more than they are meant to, and food does not make it to the bottom. This turns people to do crazy things they nor the audience ever thought they would do.

Every month the inmates are placed on a new floor, depending on their performance the month before. The system rewards savage behavior of people who will do whatever it takes, no matter the harm to others. This dynamic clearly nods towards the reality in the world we live in. Theoretically, there is enough wealth for every person to live comfortably, but that theory is not realized in the real world. 

Character development was by far the area in which this movie most excelled. Each character clearly represented a stereotypical response to “the system,” and I could see myself and/or my peers in each of the characters. Every person had a purpose. There were only about five significant characters, and they were each developed so well that it didn’t feel like there was anything missing.

For example, there was a man, Trimagasi, who accepted the cruel nature of the platform and just tried to survive, no matter the cost. Another woman, Imoguiri, tried to explain rationing to her greedy peers and, as noble as her cause was, was never able to achieve her goal. Goreng, the protagonist, learned from these two and took the best parts of them to eventually do something about the system. I feel this is something we all need to do as we learn from the people around us.

One of my favorite things in this movie that showed a lot of social commentaries was the placement of prisoners on each level. Each month of each inmate’s allotted sentence they wake up on a new level. Based on the levels Goreng experienced throughout the movie, the more ruthless one is and the more people they hurt, the higher they will end up the next time around. This speaks to social classes and how often integrity is sacrificed for success.

The last thing I found noticeably exceptional is the quality of the production, effects and acting, which can be hard to come by in the horror genre. I would not be excluded from the list of people who criticize Netflix’s content selection in this category, but I’d have to say this movie is a huge step in the right direction. When the actors were nervous, I was too. When they were scared, I was too. When someone got hurt, I felt their pain. It was extremely immersive, and that all comes down to the quality of the movie’s production and execution. 

Overall, “The Platform” was a homerun for me. I don’t particularly seek out horror films unless I think they have a deeper meaning and I can gain something. Even though some of the realities of this movie can be a little depressing, walking away with something to really think and talk about made it worth it.