FILM REVIEW: THE PLATFORM (EL HOYO)
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Writers: David Desolo and Pedro Rivers (screenplay)
Starring: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay, Zihara Llana, Amigo de Baharat
Release Date: March 20, 2020
In an eat or be eaten world, director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia’s TIFF Midnight Audience Award winner, The Platform presents a slice of life inside the pit; a hellhole where prisoners at the top of the food chain have carte blanche to all the food they desire while prisoners below them eat only the scraps the upper level prisoners throw down.
It may be the new zombie craze which came after the vampire craze; a tale of inequity amongst the classes. And while this topic has been picked over many times before, it is now prevalent enough to be considered horror. Here in Gaztelu-Urrutia’s hands it is done horrifyingly well with a fresh new twist.
In the grimmest way possible, The Platform tells a literal tale of consumerism. We all know what works for the greater good yet we waste when there is excess, then pray to god when we have too little.
When Goreng (Ivan Massagué), volunteers to enter the prison system hoping to quit smoking while reading a book (each prisoner is permitted one item of their choosing), he is unprepared for what awaits him. Goreng learns the rules and ropes of his new life on the inside, in trials and tribulations with his pragmatic cell mate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor).
In the following months when food becomes scarce to none Goreng must learn how to protect his life while adapting to different levels of starvation. His beliefs are shattered and decisions must be made quickly if he is to survive. All that he has ever known will be tested.
The Platform’s message is clear, however we never feel that we are being preached to. We receive the message and we can do what we want with it. The Platform is not for the faint of heart. It is a horror film at its core. It is bloody and violent and hellbent on making its message clear. But we still can and we will take we want from it and discard what does not fit our narrative.
And that is the point of The Platform.