Lately we’ve seen the release of several films that explore the issue of wealth inequality and class difference, South Korea’s “Parasite” and “Burning” especially coming to mind. While a fascinating narrative to pursue, it seems as if too many films are reusing the same themes and believing that as long as a social theme is centered around the story, that it makes it profound.
Netflix’s "The Platform” is a perfect example. Here is a film that is so self-righteous and gives us an hour-and-a-half sermon on how capitalism is an evil force destroying our society without a touch of character development or riveting tension.
Set in a vertical, prison-like structure, the film follows Goreng, an idealistic volunteer in the establishment who comes across several different prisoners as an escalating platform rises through the building every day. On the platform lies a giant platter of food. The only thing is that the platter serves over 200 levels of people, those at the top being able to eat as much as they want before it descends downward. Clearly, our characters are living in a horrid environment of pure misery and isolation.
Minus the obnoxious and obvious symbolism rammed down our throats, “The Platform” is a gross, gruesome picture that tries too hard to get a reaction out of us through its imagery such as cannibalism and decapitation rather than its story. If the film wasn’t so rushed and actually took its time to develop its ideas without lecturing us from start to finish and strived to develop the characters, then this seemingly creative premise wouldn’t have failed. Sadly, the entire film relies on anti-capitalist notions without any creativity or human drama to support it.
After viewing this film, it’s unsure what the filmmakers desired for their audience. Their unclear motives leave us thinking they wanted us to believe humanity is inherently evil and that capitalism is the cause of all of our problems.
This well-intended, overly-gruesome film is one that may be cinematic filth, yet watching the film was surprisingly entertaining. Even though I didn’t care about anyone in the film due to not knowing anything about them that would make us care and even though I wasn’t moved or excited at all, part of me couldn’t help just how maddening and ridiculous the film truly is. It’s a rare bad movie — one that’s clearly an absolute failure but one you can’t help but get lost in due to its extremity.