A Movable Feast In The Dystopic The Platform

Riot Material
4 min readOct 3, 2019

Reviewed by Kristy Puchko

Imagine: you awake in a cold, concrete prison cell. There are no windows, no doors, one cellmate, and a big, square hole in the center of the floor. Should you peek down into it, you’d see a cell below the same as yours. And beneath that lie so many more that you can’t estimate their number. Should you look up, you’ll see the same. This hole holds the place for the platform, a large concrete table that descends daily packed with delectable delicacies. But what you get — if anything — depends on how far down you are in this merciless food chain. Those at the top feast on red wine, succulent meats, and delicate desserts. Those below will eat their scraps, on and on until all that’s left are empty plates and hungry bellies, pushing the bottom dwellers to inhumane extremes to survive. This is the chilling premise of The Platform, a riveting Midnight Madness movie with a sharp political commentary at its core.

Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia makes his directorial debut with this Spanish dystopian-thriller that centers on Goreng (Iván Massagué), a new inmate who must learn the ropes to survive. An academic, who volunteered for this grim circumstance to earn his degree, Goreng looks at everything around him with earnest curiosity and a sharp logic that will do him little good in a place overrun by impulse. The prisoners are each allowed one item to bring with them into their cell. Some choose a pet, a rope, or a weapon. Goreng chose a book, which confounds and amuses his squirrelly cellmate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor), who picked an as-seen-on-TV knife that never dulls. Excitable and spiteful, Trimagasi will be Goreng’s reluctant guide into the rules of the Pit. And Goreng will be the audience conduit, learning its ways and horrors with mounting shock.

Over the course of his sentence, Goreng will be re-assigned monthly up and down the Pit’s layers, seeing both feast and famine. He will encounter a variety of inmates, one who dreams of escape, one doggedly focused on self-preservation, one on a mad quest, and one hell-bent on pushing her peers into “spontaneous solidarity.” Before long, Goreng realizes that the food at the top could be enough for all if everyone only took what they needed. But this cruel means of distribution turns a could-be community into savages who scrounge for all they can eat and gleefully befoul what they can’t to spite those beneath them.

Riot Material

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