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The Platform : Chills you to the core, then a bit more.

Thursday, April 2, 2020 • Tamil Comments

Chills you to the core, then a bit more

During school days, we all had that one friend who used to gorge on our food like a maniac, leaving nothing for us. But imagine if he was an adult and not cute anymore, still doing the same. How about if he also uses extreme violence, rapes and is even ready to kill to eat. We mean, literally like kill you and slice a thigh off from your legs and have a go at it? Feel like your guts are beginning to twist? Good then, we’ve set the mood for the review.

In the simplest of terms, ‘The Platform’ is about a bunch of creepos locked up in a creepily systemised prison. But the thing is these creepos weren’t self-made, again in the simplest of terms ‘the system made them so’. The prison cells are vertical with a gap in the center through which the platform with the food passes through. But here’s the catch, there are no refills and second servings here. The food once placed in the first level moves down the very end of the vertical prison with short pauses at each level. Meaning: People in the higher levels get to eat more than the people in the lower levels.

Writers David Desola and Pedro Rivero should be made to wear badges that say ‘Genius’. Firstly because the way the prison is designed serves as a versatile device to explain class struggles among people. Secondly, it also achieves an instrumental role in ‘pushing the story forward’ in the latter half.

There’s a scene where a man from a lower level tries climbing past the upper levels to gain freedom only to be shat on his face by a superior level inmate. There’s one involving the killing of an animal. There’s another one where a man is killed. If you were wondering, there’s a lot of cannibalism involved as well. Point is, there’s lots of gore. So much so that it would put Tarantino to shame. Umm, then why are we even talking about this movie?

Simple, the director had utilised all the above-said elements as a narrative tool to explore humanity’s ugly side. Consider a few characters: the seemingly safe old chap who but later wants to eat the hero up, the strongly built black man who is after all soft in his heart, the feeble hero who chooses to bring a Don Quixote book rather than a weapon, the ruthless killer lady who helps out the hero…and more. These stark differences within each character have helped established a cinematic world that is real, genuine, impactful and easy to empathize with. Despite the brazen themes and gore, one must admit that the film also has it beautiful moments, even humorous ones at times.

Director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia had revealed in an interview that the film was a criticism of ideologies. No kidding. The film tries exploring the truth around all ‘isms’ namely capitalism, communism, classism, consumerism, even cannibalism if that can be agreed upon as an ideology (One should ask Hannibal Lecter).

Another such film that comes to the mind is ‘Martyrs’, which approaches its theme using a singular route. But ‘The Platform’ is both unbridled and messy in that aspect. Like a cocky professor, it throws away so much at the viewer to grasp but comes off as if it doesn’t really care if you get it.

Like a pure lotus in a dirty pond, the story boasts a heart-warming build-up to the climax which we’re not even going to reveal here. However, the reason and utility of the way the film comes to an end is up for debate. Because, this amazing story is worthy and deserving of a better, alternative ending.

On the technical side, the photography of film exploits the dull colour patterns of the cell walls to the bright, vibrant hues of the food on the platform. The lighting reveals a dreamlike feel to the characters of the movie which seems to be an identifiable trait of most sci-fi movies. The aesthetics of the production ironically is more evident in this minimalist movie than most big-budget flicks we’ve seen recently.

In our lifetime, rarely do we get a chance to watch a film which we can’t forget. It’d give us sleepless nights. It’d be the only thing that we talk about to people for the next few days. And the true mark of it, we’d come back to experience it again, and again. Now, we don’t know if you’d choose to watch ‘The Platform’ a second time. Not because it’s not a good movie, but because if you can actually do it.

Verdict: A film which is equal parts social commentary and gore, leaving you to wonder if there's really any difference between the two.

Should you watch it? Yes, definitely.

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