Friday, April 17, 2020

The Platform (2019)

Streaming Service: Netflix
Movie Name/Year: The Platform (2019)
Genre: Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: TV-MA
Production/Distribution: Basque Films, Mr Miyagi Films, Plataforma La Película AIE, Consejería de Cultura del Gobierno Vasco, Euskal Irrati Telebista (EiTB), Eusko Jaurlaritza, Instituto de Crédito Oficial (ICO), Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales (ICAA), Radio Televisión Española (RTVE), Zentropa, Festival Films / Yedra Films, Latido Films, Netflix
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Writer: David Desola, Pedro Rivero
Actors: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay, Zihara Llana, Mario Pardo, Algis Arlauskas, Txubio Fernández de Jáuregui, Eric Goode

Blurb from IMDb: A vertical prison with one cell per level. Two people per cell. One only food platform and two minutes per day to feed from up to down. An endless nightmare trapped in The Hole.

Selina’s Point of View:
There are movies with a message, and then there’s The Platform. It is the most thinly veiled commentary on society that I’ve ever seen.

I’ve seen a lot of people comparing this film to Snowpiercer (2013), to the point of saying that it’s just a vertical version of it, but I can’t really agree with that.

Snowpiercer does have a similar commentary on the same thing, but it’s not nearly the same movie. Yes, there as some parallels, but there are huge differences in the way the stories are handled. The tone and feel of the films are completely different. At the end of Snowpiercer, I felt like I’d just seen a comic book movie. At the end of The Platform, I felt introspective and dread.

Of course, that could also have something to do with the current climate of the world.

Watching a film about how some people cause detriment and death to others by overusing resources is… well… it’s a bit on the nose.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I’m a sucker for a good dystopian story. That’s what attracted me to The Platform. The story is interesting and has a lot potential. I really feel like director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia (La casa del lago, 913, Crash) and writers David Desola (Lunas de Marte, Warehoused, One for the Road) and Pedro Rivero (Lituania, Birdboy, Unicorn Blood) put their all into this film and helped it reach the highest level it could.

I was glued to the screen, and eventually forgot I was reading subtitles. Even just five minutes after the film’s end, I remember it as though I was hearing it in English. It takes a lot to show anyone a film outside of their native language and make them feel like it still spoke directly to them.

The Platform is about as subtle as smacking someone in the face with a ton of bricks, but as someone who believes society has been failing for a long time, I think that lack of subtlety is necessary. If you want to explain to friends and family why trickle-down economics don’t work, or the big issues with over-use of resources, have them watch this film. It’s terrifying just how realistic it can seem.

I’ll be honest, the ending seems a bit too janky for my liking. Almost like a strange injection of religion into a film that didn’t seem to need it. I did like the fact that they kept it open-ended though. Each person is going to have their own opinion about what happens after-the-fact, and that leaves a discussion open when the movie ends.

Personally, I enjoyed it. Still, I don’t think it’s for everyone. Especially right now while people are trying to get their minds off of what’s going on in the world. I do wish I’d seen it at a different time, because I am left with a sinking pit of dread in my chest that was already there and has now been amplified.

I recommend that you watch this movie if you’re a fan of the horror/dystopian genre. However, if you’re worried about exacerbating how you feel due to the coronavirus – maybe wait on this one until the world has cleared up a little.

Cat’s Point of View:
It’s somewhat strange timing, watching this movie now with the world in the state it is. Sure, we’re not exactly in a dystopian thriller at the moment, but we are all in a state of suspense to varying degrees and some wackos have binge-bought entire grocery stores clean. I digress…

I love how the sci-fi element to this film’s story is so subtle. The movie clearly takes place in an advanced technological future, or some magical alternate reality, given the way the titular platform moves between levels of ‘the pit.’ That’s pretty much where the line is drawn. The rest is horror on both a cerebral and physical level.

The pacing is a bit of a slow burn, and the suspense just builds upon itself throughout. The concept is really mad genius. I can’t say that I’ve seen this sort of plot before – at least that I can recall.

The Platform is available with an English dub (the way I watched it), but if you’re easily annoyed  by mouths not being synced to the audio of the words they’re ‘saying,’ then you might want to leave it on its original language and use the subtitles.

I have to say that, as a think-piece, this film is extremely successful. The points made on human nature and the like are well made. There was a fairly satisfying ending, though I was still left with so many questions.

I wonder if anyone has any intentions of making sequels or prequels that might explain more about this world and the location the story takes place in, as the Cube (1997) franchise did.

While this was a solid movie, I can’t say it was my favorite on entertainment value. That’s just based on my own personal preferences. It was, however, successful in delivering its message and was well crafted, so I can easily make a recommendation for the film accordingly.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 70%
Metascore – 73/100
Metacritic User Score – 7.1/10
IMDB Score – 7/10
CinemaScore – None

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating3.5/5

P.S. Movie is in Spanish.

Movie Trailer:

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