The Platform: Of Humanity and Food Crisis

The Platform: Of Humanity and Food Crisis

The Platform (El Hoyo) is a Spanish sci-fi thriller movie in which insights can be gleaned about outcomes of isolation and of food shortage. Netflix, released the movie for streaming worldwide last March 2020 in its original Spanish dialogue, but with subtitle provisions.

Brief Description about the Platform’s Storyline

Set in some form of a correctional system housed in a structure with 300 plus levels, each room serves as confinement for two reformers to last for a certain period of time. After awhile, they will be put to sleep, then transferred to a new level with the same companion under the same living conditions. If during confinement a resident dies, a new one will be brought in. Residing in the platform though is voluntary, either as alternative to jail time or as a way to willingly reform one’s self from a vice or addiction.

Prior to every resident’s entry, he or she is evaluated for any health disorder, including allergic reactions to food or any substance. To help them overcome the difficulties of isolation, participants are allowed to bring any object of their choice. Moreover, they are asked about their favorite food.

The main character who calls himself Goreng (Iván Massagué Horta) came to realize that isolation was not the only problem he had to face. People are being fed by way of a platform that doubles as a banquet table. It goes down from the highest level or level zero, down to the lowest depths of the building. Initially, the banquet platform goes down filled with the favorite food of all the isolated people. However, its stays in each level only for a short while, then descends to another level until it reaches the bottom.

Apparently the feeding system is flawed because it is open to abuse by those at the top levels; gorging themselves with food and unmindful of those beneath. As a result, if a reformer gets transferred to a very low level, he is likely to go hungry since there won’t be any food, not even a morsel left in the platform. People are not allowed to keep or stash away food as there is a built-in mechanisms that turns up or brings down the room temperature to extreme levels of heat or cold.

As a psycho-thriller, what viewers will get to see in the movie are Goreng’s learning experiences in every level; from mid to high levels, then down to level 200. Each character he encounters makes Goreng’s experience either frightful, desolate or hopeful. Described as a decent and well-educated man, Goreng believes the food distribution system works if only residents in every level will eat the food they specified as their favorite. Sadly, only a few of the people he met shared the same view, while maintaining decency did not prove to be the key to survival.