Editor’s Observe: This TIFF evaluation was initially printed on September 12, 2019.
‘Wealth is finite’ appears to be a pattern at TIFF this yr, with films like Parasite and even Knives Out having characters that, with a view to obtain monetary safety, see themselves pressured to take somebody down from the metaphorical socioeconomic ladder. Galder Gaztelu-Irrutia‘s The Platform takes that idea and makes it literal, in a grotesque, thrilling, and fairly humorous film a couple of big vertical jail and a large tray with sufficient meals for all prisoners that will get despatched down ground to ground, with the tray being picked clear by the point it reaches the underside.
We first meet Goreng (Iván Massagué) as he’s waking up in a chilly, grey cell lit by vivid blue lights, with no decorations and an enormous gap in the midst of the ground and the ceiling, connecting their cell in stage 48 with the numerous others in a jail they name The Pit. He’s welcomed by his new cellmate Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor), who explains how issues work round their new dwelling. Day by day of the month, a large pile of meals that includes each meal possible is lowered down from the highest stage to the underside. When you’re on the high you get the feast of your life; the decrease down you’re, the much less meals you get, with the decrease ranges resorting to different sources of vitamin.
There’s sufficient meals for each single prisoner, however when Goreng dares recommend they portion out the meals for the degrees under, Trimagasi laughs at his proposition, calling him a communist. As a substitute, the outdated Trimagasi is completely happy consuming the scraps he will get, and spitting on the remainder of the meals to really feel highly effective about his place. His reasoning being that they’d do the identical to him, and each month they could have an opportunity to, since each survivor will get assigned a brand new stage at random on the finish of the month – irrespective of your habits.
Credit score ought to go to screenwriters David Desola and Pedro Rivera who, along with Gaztelu-Irrutia, masterfully weave exposition with world constructing in order to not overwhelm the viewers with info, however reveal new layers of the maze little by little – often by way of hilarious dialogue delivered by Eguileor. The primary act of the film is dialogue-heavy, which is sensible given the unique plan to launch The Platform as a stage play, however the chemistry and banter between Eguileor and Massagué is palpable, and you’ll’t assist however want you might stick with these two characters for longer earlier than the story descends into chaos and bloodshed. Eguileor provides a nasty and pleasant efficiency that’s at occasions over-the-top supervillain, and at occasions a candy and tender outdated man who might need goals of turning into Hannibal Lecter. Massagué, alternatively, carries the emotional weight of the film on his shoulders, which he manages to do whereas additionally having the ability to deal with the extra grotesque components of the film in addition to the little however efficient motion we see.
Although we principally keep confined in a single location, the manufacturing design of The Platform makes essentially the most of its grey field set-piece. The Pit involves life principally by way of the disgusting photographs of the meals coming down the platform, with soiled fingers stuffing mouths with all types of meals in excessive close-ups. The movie additionally manages to make each stage really feel a bit completely different from the opposite, even when they’re actually the identical set.
The Platform may have simply been one other film about how the wealthy suck and the way we must always eat all of them. As a substitute Gaztelu-Irrutia is focused on exploring how the poor devour one another and our seemingly innate lack of ability to be good with out incentive or risk. Although it’s clearly seen by way of the eyes of somebody who believes in capitalism, the film doesn’t essentially attempt to level fingers at anybody and say that there’s just one proper strategy to do issues. What the film is de facto focused on is holding a mirror in entrance of the viewers and asking what you’ll do in that scenario. What would you do for those who discovered your self in stage 1 and the way would you act for those who have been in stage 200? The message isn’t what issues, the film argues, however the way you ship your message. Will you threaten individuals to observe you? Or make them suppose it was their concept to observe you?
The Platform takes full benefit of its remoted setting and small forged to as a substitute concentrate on a excessive idea, a good script, and sharp dialogue that may make you snigger as typically as it’s going to make you suppose. This can be a humorous, heartfelt, at occasions disgusting, but additionally thought-provoking sci-fi thriller that reminds of Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer, however with means higher meals.
The Platform will likely be streaming on Netflix this Friday, March 20th.