The Platform (2019) is a powerful social metaphor that explains the main flaws of the system that surrounds us day in and day out. In addition, the film is replete with many political, religious and philosophical ideas, which we will talk about below.
Briefly about the plot
The protagonist Goreng wakes up in an unusual multi-tiered prison called the “Vertical Center of Self-Government” on the 48th floor. Every day, a table with scraps comes down to him and his cellmate Trimagashi, which must be eaten quickly, because no more than two minutes are allotted for the absorption of food.
A dilemma arises. After all, those who are unlucky enough to be on the upper levels have a hard time. They get scraps or empty plates. Those who are at the top are feasting until they have such an opportunity, because the floor on which you are lucky / or not will be assigned to you for only a month, then – solid random.
The hidden idea of the “Platform”
In addition to a realistic demonstration of class inequality, indifference, irresponsibility, sacrifice, the fall, the coming of the messiah and other religious motives; critics of hierarchy and capitalism, there is another, no less entertaining interpretation of what is happening.
How long does it take for a person to change? It takes 14 to 21 days to strengthen the habit. If this number is rounded up to the norm that is understandable to everyone, one month will be released. The prisoners in the cell are the same people like us, only unlike the first ones, our conclusion looks more metaphorical, although it finds its reflection in endless trips to work, incessant everyday life and duties that do not give the opportunity to move on.
When we find ourselves in an acceptable environment / comfort zone / cell, we think that the place where we are is better than nothing. For the same reason, the 48th floor is better than 51. We adapt to the conditions provided and are in no hurry to change, because “tomorrow” may present an unpleasant surprise in the form of the 202nd floor, a market collapse or a simple dismissal from work. And either you start to do something with your life right now, or you will eat leftovers for the whole next month, or nothing at all.
Allusion to Maslow’s pyramid
For the same reason, the film has a strong allusion to the well-known Maslow pyramid. After all, it is much easier to take some action to save those who are below, if you yourself are at the top and can satisfy your key needs.
Religious overtones in the film “Platform”
If we assume that the “pit”, as the prisoners call it, is hell, then the endless levels of the prison, the lower, the more vicious, acquire a new and more superficial meaning. Correctional prison is a hell akin to the one described in Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy. The number of levels (333) is half of 666 or the designation of the holy trinity. A child is a harbinger of a savior, a message for those who have lost their humanity, and for those who did not see him initially.
Goreng is the messiah / Jesus Christ who dies for the sins of other prisoners, and the mysterious administration that symbolically dwells on the ground floor is the personification of heaven and angels. Food descending every day on the platform symbolizes the gifts of the Lord in the form of tests of will and nobility. A person who observes the work of cooks is a metaphor for a god whose gaze is so blurred that he is able to see only superficial and insignificant problems – a hair in a panna cotta.
Why did the main character choose Don Quixote?
The choice of a book about a just wanderer who is trying to do good is a direct allusion to the position of the protagonist, which will remain unchanged until the end of the film, but will still undergo a certain metamorphosis along the way.
Why did the main character decide to fall into the hole
From Goreng’s conversation, we learn that he fell into the pit voluntarily, in order to obtain a special certificate. This document is highly valued in society, and during an “interview” with a representative of the administration, he asks if he will be taken to prison, as if it were some kind of high-paying job. The hero’s desire to get into the pit can be explained by making an allusion with the same Dante, whose hero decides to explore hell at the request of Virgil.
Nevertheless, during the preliminary conversation, we also learn that the hero smokes, and that this cannot be done in the “Vertical Center of Self-Government”. Is it possible that Goreng’s conclusion was due to his desire to quit smoking, and the figure of 6 months is the time during which it is possible to completely get rid of nicotine addiction?
Explanation of the ending of the “Platform”
Deciding to try to distribute food to all 250, as Goreng suggested, floors. He and the black prisoner Baharat begin to descend, killing and wounding those who, up to the 50th floor, refuse to live without food for at least one day. On the way, they meet the teacher Baharat, who advises to choose a symbol. Something wonderful. After all, if the guys started a coup, the symbol, as a symbol of their idea, should not only encourage the administration to revise their rules, but also prove that the prisoners who find themselves on the lower floors, no matter what crime they commit, have the right to life.
Getting to the 333rd floor, Goreng and Baharat, wounded by a katana, find a girl, a child, Mihara. They give her the panna cotta and understand that it is not a dessert, but a child that is the true message to the top. Since the message does not need a carrier, Baharat dies, and Goreng remains in the dark. Perhaps he simply changes places with her, because during the descent, the man committed too many murders (sins) and must pay for them at the lowest level. Or he, as a symbol of the savior, metaphorically reborn into a child.
At the very end, the girl rushes up, and although we do not know whether her appearance will affect the worldview of people from above, one thing is for sure – any action that condemns the error of the system, and a child living on the 333rd floor is definitely an error, awakens opposition, or although would make you think.
The main shortcomings of the film “Platform”
There are no rich and poor in the pit
A random move that happens once a month doesn’t have to be good. Like ordinary people, the prisoners of the center are literally dependent on chance, and at whatever level they find themselves, they will be selfish towards those who are below; to envy those who are higher and if they are lucky to find themselves at the very top – to worry that this is not for long.
Based on the context of the above, it would be a mistake to believe that the “poor” and “rich” live in the pit.
“Lucky” and “unlucky” is a more accurate description of the positions on the floors.
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Reasonable consumption won’t feed 666 people
Along the way of the entire action of the film and in many explanations later, we came across the statement that if the prisoners had acquired a collective intelligence or at least conscience and consumed food wisely, then it would have been enough for the very bottom, which in the course of the plot, every now and then deepened. From the initial mark to supposedly 200, it grew into 202, 250 and stopped at 333. But even this floor was not the end.
Descending lower and lower, Goreng and Baharat discover that no matter how they save food, it will not even be enough for 200 floors, given the fact that the first 46 did not eat. Does this mean that the administration planned such an outcome, and the total shortage of food is due not only to the human factor, but also to the factor of totalitarianism, where there is either one who ate or eaten?