TIFF19: The Platform

The Platform
The Platform (2019) 1h 34min | Sci-Fi, Thriller | September 2019 (USA) Summary: In a future "dystopia", prisoners housed in vertically stacked cells watch hungrily as food descends from above, feeding the upper tiers, but leaving those below ravenous and radicalized.
Countries: SpainLanguages: Spanish

A man finds himself in a vertical prison in The Platform. Goreng (Iván Massagué) wakes up in The Pit, a “vertical self-management centre” made up of hundreds of floors, each featuring two inmates, whose only food source comes from a platform that lowers from floor to floor. Goreng’s cellmate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor) quickly gives a rundown of the rules, such as how the higher floors provide more food and how inmates are punished with heat or cold if they keep any food from the platform. Moving to a new floor each month, Goreng has to dig deep to survive the hard conditions of The Pit.

The Platform is the feature film debut for Spanish filmmaker Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia. The film is a dystopian science fiction thriller, where the inmates of a vertical prison have to fight hunger and each other in order to survive. The film features a very minimal cast of characters, consisting of Goreng and a rotating roster of cellmates, as well as a violent woman (Alexandra Masangkay), who rides the platform looking for her lost child.

The Platform

While likely unintentional, The Platform is quite reminiscent of two Canadian films, those being Vincenzo Natali’s 1997 debut Cube and Denis Villeneuve’s 2008 short film Next Floor. Thematically, the multiple floors of The Pit can be a representation of class struggle, as those on the upper floors end up eating all the food before it reaches the lower levels. Featuring a mix of dark humour, grisly violence, and disgusting gluttony, The Platform is ultimately a science fiction thriller that has something for everyone.

TIFF19 screenings of The Platform