This article we’re gonna be breaking down the new Netflix film The Platform.
The High Concept Movie has a lot to unpack from it and in wake of what’s currently going on in the world, the film feels extremely relevant.
Throughout this video we’re gonna be discussing the ins and outs of the movie’s plot, it’s ending and the real meaning behind it.
There will be Heavy Spoilers here so if you haven’t had a chance to catch the movie yet and don’t want anything ruined then I highly recommend that you turn off now.
With all that out the way, let’s get into our breakdown of The Platform.
The Pit Explained
The Platform has several metaphors about society with there being clear comments about class warfare.
The Platform is set in a dystopian future in which resources are short and clearly the structures of civilization are failing.
We follow Goreng, a member of a prison called The Pit that is made up of 333 levels. Goreng has voluntarily entered the prison in order to get a degree but he soon realizes he signed up for more than he bargained for.
On each level other than level 0, there are two prisoners placed in a cell and a platform of food that descends from the top downwards.
Level 0 is the location of the privileged and they create the food and thus the economy of The Pit.
The platform remains on each level for two minutes and in that time the prisoners can eat food from the table. If the levels above you eat too much then you will likely starve and the movie very much centres around the aesthetic that those higher up on the chain get to live lavishly whilst those further down must feed upon the scraps.
There is very much the message that if everyone only took what they needed then there would be enough for all, however, as I’m sure you can guess, the majority of the people on the levels are very self-centered and thus they tend to overindulge whenever they get the opportunity.
It’s a motif that is extremely relevant to our times and this movie definitely struck a chord with me after seeing the panic buying of toilet paper recently. That was a situation in which many people took more than they needed and thus because of this greed we have been left with shortages so the more vulnerable members of society are left with little.
The Platform Meaning
The film is very much about how greed and being self-centred can often lead to the downfall of others even if unintentional. Take for example Evangeline Lilly who has recently refused to self isolate because she says she values the freedom of her life. That’s fine and I’m sure we all would love to but the reason that people tend to be locking themselves away isn’t because they have to, it’s because others may be at risk if they don’t. This attitude is what has lead to the pandemic and now everyone is worse off because of it.
I don’t wanna get too preachy as everyone has the right to do what they want but the movie is definitely about the more thoughtful vs the thoughtless and how even just a handful of the latter can have a knock-on affect to others who will eventually lead to following their behavior in order to survive.
Though the prisoners change positions and do so every month, we initially start with Goreng being partnered with a man named Trimigasi. All prisoners are allowed to bring one item in with them from the outside and Trimigasi has brought in a self sharpening knife which he was pretty much tricked into buying. This exemplifies his personality and how he will always try and keep ahead of others, even if it means he loses out eventually.
He is a cruel man, who spits on the food just to lord it over those below him and is very much someone that would climb up the rope and then pull it up with him. This is because he views society as tricking him into hedging his bets on one thing and then making him realise that it was all a scam.
He killed an illegal immigrant by throwing a tv out in anger after he was fooled and refuses to take responsibility for the things that he’s done.
He only gives Goreng what he gets in return information-wise, tries to take ownership of the word ‘obviously’ and won’t even let him come to his side of the room.
The Platform 2019 Breakdown
The food could be rationed out fairly but he would rather have the opportunity to potentially get more one day even though we know that this is a trick to keep those who truly in power constantly above him. There are comments on communism and the movie definitely paints out the message that if things were more equal then we would live in a fairer society.
However, Trimigasi doesn’t wish for this because he does not view those around him as equal because he wants the opportunity to get more. This never really works out for him though and there are times where he has to resort to things like cannibalism in order to potentially get a higher level when if things were fair he would be fine every single month.
He is basically that guy at work that you started off with, then they became a supervisor and it completely changed the way they act. You know the guy, Darren I think he’s called.
Because of the outbreak, my friend was given the month off to work from home, however, for some reason the people that have to remain on site said that it wasn’t fair that his department is going to be off so now he has to go back to work even though the people who made an uproar will have to be in anyway.
They made things worse for others even though they didn’t have to because they viewed things as being unfair. It speaks to human behavior and how we will often try bring others down with us.
Similar to this Trimigasi has very little power, so the power that he does get has completely corrupted him and he uses it to crap on others. Those above him will never accept him but he is so driven by his own ego that he sees himself as powerful and thus he becomes a figure of hate.
The Meaning Of Don Quixote
Juxtaposing this, Goreng rises throughout the film and this is exemplified in the choice of his item which is the book Don Quixote.
In that, a Nobleman goes through so much due to the splendor that he receives that he loses his mind and ends up becoming a knight that serves the community instead of himself. That’s a real top level view of it but the book is very much exemplified in Goreng’s journey.
He is criticized for doing this and represent the academic not having first-hand experience of what they are talking about but it does eventually provide him with the knowledge of how to help others.
Goreng initially starts off refusing to eat the food but of course, hunger gets the better of him and he ends up giving into the system much in the same way that my wife ended up buying 900 toilet rolls because everyone else did.
One day another prisoner named Miharu comes down on the platform searching for her son. She is an immigrant and because she falls into the other, Trimigasi villainizes her with lies and in some ways blames her for the way things are rather than realizing it is the system that is at fault and not her.
Society dumps on her and even when she stands up for herself she is further detested.
Goreng makes the most of what he has with Trimigasi, and there’s lip service paid to the latter believing in god this month because he’s had a good one. This kinda reminded me of when actors and sports stars gain awards and they thank god for it. When they lose they don’t blame God for making them lose so yeah…it was a nice little line.
Anyway, they both wake up on level 171 which is the lowest one that Trimigasi has ever been on and because of this he pulls the drastic measure of tying Goreng up in order to eat him. When the food comes down he blames those above and calls them animals for not leaving anything, however, he did the same.
He purges Goreng’s flesh in order to make him taste better and just as he is about to start the long and agonizing process of eating him however Miharu comes down and rescues him. He resorts to eating Trimigasi and he learns perspective on what it is to be as desperate as the man before him showcasing that being less judgemental to others is important as you don’t know what they’ve been through.
He wakes up in a cell on level 33 with Imoguiri who was an interviewer for the pit. She has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and is racked with guilt for being part of the system. After sentencing so many to hell she has decided to join them to try and help. She represents a higher up feeling remorseful for their privilege and actually sacrifices herself in order to help Goreng.
Initially she tries to talk to the prisoners below about rationing but they don’t listen.
The Metaphor Of Celebrity Outcry
This showcases those in positions of power using their voices to try and influence those below. Gal Gadot recently did a video in which celebrities sang Imagine by John Lennon. It was meant to show that we were all in this together, however, as you probably know, this didn’t go down well. Celebrities due to their privilege haven’t been in the desperate situation that others have and thus sending thoughts and prayers do very little.
Similar to that video, the words of Imoguiri fall on deaf ears and it’s only when this forces Goreng into making threats that things change. He threatens to defecate on the food if they don’t and thus the ones below will listen but those above won’t as they face no threat.
Thus we can take from this that the power structure of kindness must start from the top.
All this adds to a really engaging film and it certainly is one of the most unique metaphors of society’s structure and how things can be set up.
Miharu arrives on the platform and they save her but she kills Imoguiri’s dog and thus is sent back down. Imoguiri says that the woman is an actress and her prejudices get the better of her too and after interviewing her and seeing that she didn’t have a child with her she has automatically assumed that her son isn’t in the prison.
Upon waking up on level 202 Imoguiri has killed herself in order to give something for Goreng to feed upon. There are Last Supper metaphors as well as her and Trimigasi’s ghosts acting as angels and devils on his shoulder.
He wakes up in a cell with a man named Baharat who brought a rope in with him in order to climb up but those above do not let him ascend.
This could have destroyed the pair however the two decide to ride the lift down rationing out the food to the cells. They have put their difference in race, attitude and background aside and thus there is a positive outcome. This shows that when we work together, instead of divided we can all survive and get by.
Though it is initially hated by the masses after proving it works and convincing those through the process they send a message to level 0. This is done through protecting a perfect dessert and sending it back up which shows that when we bond we can send showcase that things must change.
Along the way they see people coveting money, their possessions and anything they can even though it is completely pointless to the predicament they’re in.
The Platform Ending Explained
Upon arriving at the bottom they discover Miharu’s child who is actually shown to be a girl, showcasing how things get twisted and changed when we do not know the full story. They give the dessert to her to eat cementing that she carries the message with her. After Baharat dies Goreng puts the child on the platform and it travels back up to the top together showcases that it is possible to teach the children of our future that there are other ways and that they must not become trapped into the same routines.
Those higher up believed that no one below 16 was in the pit and they enforced these lies perhaps to free themselves of guilt, however, this showcases that there were indeed younger people suffering and they would likely go on to grow up and become trapped in the same systems.
If we are able to teach those going forward not to fall victim to the same mistakes as we did then there will be progression that will eventually elevate all.
It shows that we can use our actions and words to let the higher-ups know that things must change, however, we too must be willing to make sacrifices in order to achieve this.
The Platform Review
So what did I think of the movie overall?
Well whilst I definitely don’t think that The Platform is for everyone, those who appreciate films that have a lot of social commentary will lap this up I think.
There’s a lot going on and it carries a powerful message with it.
The movie is well acted and presented and it stands as probably the best Netflix original this year.
Due to the times that we currently live in, I feel like The Platform is extremely relevant and should definitely be something that people check out even if they don’t agree with all of the key themes.
The Platform was great and I think it will be a big talking point going forward.
It’s a movie that’s stuck with me and because of that it gets a…
Now obviously I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Platform and what you took from the movie. Comment below and let me know.