In the midst of nationwide lockdown and an increased reliance on home entertainment, Spanish horror-thriller The Platform has become an unlikely – and timely – hit for Netflix as shown by their new Top 10 system.
The eerily relevant film follows Goreng, an inmate in a dystopian vertical prison where food is lowered from the top. In theory, there is enough food for all – provided inmates only take their fair share.
It’s no surprise then that the end of The Platform proved to be a violent, messy affair, which we have broken down below. A few warnings first, however – firstly a spoiler warning for those who haven’t seen the film (obviously), and secondly a notice that this film isn’t for the faint-hearted…
Is The Platform an allegory for capitalism?
Yes – The Platform is hardly subtle in that respect.
It is suggested that much like the real world, there is more than enough food to go around The Hole – but as long as those at the top (financially, or in this case physically) overconsume and are given no incentive to share, this will lead to inequality and suffering.
The Platform switches up your traditional social allegory however, as prisoners change levels randomly every month – and become just as greedy and self-consumed when they have a higher status.
At one point in the film, Goreng manages to make the floors below him ration by threatening to contaminate their food – but he is powerless to affect change to those above him and make the people at the top care.
It takes prisoners working together and sharing resources to show that there is a better way where everyone would be fed – or they will be imprisoned by far more than their cells.
Why did Goreng bring a panna cotta to the bottom level?
Goreng and new cellmate Baharat decide to ride down the platform armed with makeshift weapons, distributing food evenly and forcing prisoners to ration.
That is until they meet a wise old man, who suggests that they need a symbol for their movement – one which will send a message to those running The Hole.
As such they decide to preserve a luxury desert – a panna cotta – which will go all the way down The Hole and back to Level 0 untouched.
As Goreng explains “If we can get food to the last level, we’ll have broken the machinery” – in a place designed to turn prisoners against each other and overuse resources, the ability to bring such a lavish dessert to the bottom floor and up again proves the system isn’t working.
Is the girl Miharu’s daughter? Is she now the message?
This one is a little ambiguous – while Miharu claims to be searching for her daughter on the lower levels, she appears to be mentally unstable and Goreng’s previous cellmate Imoguiri claims that Miharu’s story is a lie.
However, the inclusion of a girl on the bottom floor is surely an intentional move on the filmmaker’s to suggest that Miharu was telling the truth – it would be reasonable to assume that she is indeed meant to be Miharu’s daughter.
As Goreng states, the girl is indeed the message, and a more powerful one than the panna cotta – a message of human resilience in the darkest of times, of the hope for the next generation and the spontaneous solidarity that Imoguiri dreamed of.
Is Goreng dead?
In the closing minutes of the film, Goreng is seen talking to Trimagasi – though Trimagasi is, of course, dead, murdered by Goreng earlier in the film. In an imaginary but significant conversation, Trimagasi tells Goreng that the message needs no bearer, and most importantly that his journey is over.
Again this is a bit ambiguous, but given his injuries and his telling chat with Trimigasi, it would be safe to assume that Goreng isn’t just getting off the platform – he is departing life and joining Trimiagasi in death, with the hope his message will lead to a better world.