In Spanish, it's called The Hole; in English, it's The Platform. Either way, it's the latest Netflix original sci-fi thriller to arrive from Spain, and if nothing else, it's at least extremely relevant to viewers living under shelter-in-place orders around the world.
Like the 2019 Academy Award winner, Parasite, The Platform is also an allegory about class and capitalism. As Netflix describes it, the film follows "two prisoners per floor, wondering how much they'll get to eat that day." "One inmate has had enough of not getting enough," it reads. "It's time to send a message."
If you're looking for something new to watch, keep reading for a synopsis of The Platform before jumping in. If you've already seen the movie but want to process the ending a bit more, we'll get into that too! Keep scrolling!
'The Platform' — Synopsis:
The Platform gives viewers a glimpse at what life looks like in a dystopian futuristic prison. Theirs is composed of vertically stacked cells, where inmates live in a somewhat real-life food chain. Each day at mealtime, food descends from above, feeding the upper tiers first and leaving those below them with only the scraps from above.
Ravenous and radicalized, the prisoners live around a huge hole where they can see those in the tiers above and below them. Netflix describes this Spanish film as "a twisted social allegory about mankind at its darkest and hungriest."
It's certainly a very disturbing film to watch as we are mandated to shelter in place, due to the COVID-19 pandemic that's taking over the world. And considering that the movie does an uncanny job at mirroring the world we live in, we can't help but wonder how it ends.
Put another way, is there anything that The Platform's ending can teach us about society?
'The Platform' ending, explained:
*Warning: Spoilers ahead*
Our entry into The Platform is through Goreng, a scrawny prisoner who lives in a cell labeled "48" with an older man, Trimagasi, who explains the rules of The Hole. Once a day, a floating platform covered with a decadent feast of food descends from the top floor, stopping at each level so the inmates can eat.
The catch? The table is never replenished as the food descends, meaning that by the time it gets to Goreng and Trimagasi, the platform has already been picked over by 47 pairs of inmates, and their leftovers will continue to the people living in the cells below.
But let's fast-forward to the somewhat twist of an ending. We come to see a child, a little girl, living at the very bottom of The Hole. It's never explained why she is down there, as there isn't supposed to be anyone under the age of 16, but viewers are coming up with their own interpretations of what she means to the story as a whole.
The girl is Miharu's daughter, and Miharu has not only been protecting her child, but also instilling her with hope and health, suggesting that she is untraumatized and represents the unbroken human spirit that the inmates need to keep alive within them.
While Goreng isn't able to ascend with her, because he is corrupted by living in the institution, the girl ultimately is able to reach the top floor—though it's unclear, and unlikely, that will mean any real change on a tangible day-to-day basis.
More than anything, the child's rise to the top is — in viewers' minds — metaphorical and serves to remind audiences that she is the beacon of humanity's hope, as she's the only one young enough not to have been shaped by the injustices of the system.
Whether there is anything to take away from this allegory (we certainly think there's a lot to unpack, so to speak) or not, we'll leave for you to decide.
The Platform is now streaming on Netflix (and we strongly suggest watching it in Spanish with English subtitles, rather than selecting the English-language dub).
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