Pros: the idea of a space with a platform and levels; transformation of the main character; gloomy atmosphere; social accents Cons: there are shots not for the impressionable; the ending to which the director leads can be irritating “Platform” / El hoyo
Genre thriller, fantasy
Directed by Halder Gastelu-Urrutia
Starring Ivan Massage (Goreng), Sorion Eguileor (Trimagasi), Antonia San Juan (Imogiri), Emilio Buale Coca (Baharat), Alexandra Masangkay (Miharu), Eric Goode (Brambang), etc.
Компании Basque Films, Mr Miyagi Films, Platform The AIE Film
Released 2019 (on Netflix 2020)
“Platform” shows a place set up like a prison. There are an unknown number of vertical levels, on which there is only one room with a large hole in the center. There are two people on each floor, each day waiting for a platform to arrive, temporarily filling the missing part of the chamber, and filled to the brim with food. Not all prisoners have the opportunity to get enough food – only those at the upper levels eat well. Those who are lower end up with food waste at best. Once a month the situation changes dramatically, and people who were at the very top may find themselves at the lowest level, where a monstrous struggle for survival begins.
The premiere of the thriller “Platform” took place as part of the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2019. There, the film won the Midnight Madness horror section, receiving the most votes from the audience. Representatives of the Netflix streaming platform noticed the audience’s interest and bought the rights to show the film, planning its release for spring 2020.
In a season that has become dead for cinemas, even little-known online premieres have become some kind of event, but still an event. As for “Platform,” it attracted attention during quarantine with the eerie accents around which the plot is built. This is not only a selfish struggle for food, based on instincts and completely devoid of concern for others. It is also a social order that rests precariously on a distribution of goods that changes according to unpredictable circumstances.
The film, directed by Halder Gastelu-Urrutia, really feels like a social statement that makes you a little uncomfortable. Quite an interesting effect, for a debut full-length work. Halder took on a complex idea, working with a small budget and managing to create a dark atmosphere that makes it clear the circumstances of the personal transformations of the film’s characters.
It is worth saying that “Platform” is not limited to the framework of a psychological thriller. The film plunges seamlessly into carnal horrors, demonstrating the edges of madness in all physical manifestations. In short, you won’t watch it over dinner. There will be a lot of blood in the frame, and this, perhaps, is not the most repulsive thing that you will have to contemplate in the place of a kind of deprivation of freedom.
We learn about how the prison actually works together with the main character Goreng. He was there of his own free will, hoping to receive a certain bonus from imprisonment, but the man, like many other prisoners, did not know what rules he would have to obey. The only item that Goreng was able to take with him was Cervantes’s novel Don Quixote – a book that to some extent characterizes Goreng himself, who made attempts to defend the oppressed. Even outwardly, the actor Ivan Massagué, who plays the main role, resembles a knight, which is often emphasized by the film’s cameraman.
In the feed, you can notice several more references and hints that indicate how you should interpret the idea of the plot. This is important because “Platform” is one of those films, by the end of which you want to understand what it all meant and what it led to. This is where many viewers who just want to set aside an hour and a half to watch something frightening and completely understandable are faced with the lack of an incentive prize.
The thriller first shocks, and then gives the viewer thoughts about what he would do if he found himself on different levels. The director mercilessly demonstrates truly terrible episodes, refusing to give the expected answers. Halder Gastelu-Urrutia deliberately leaves the ending metaphorical, which can be extremely annoying.
Despite this, the horror thriller will certainly have fans who like the “think of it yourself” style techniques (a very similar situation already happened with a similar film about people in a confined space), as well as the presence of a social experiment in the frame.
“Platform” stands out from other thrillers. This is an amateur film that leads to a metaphorical conclusion and makes you think about what the viewer would do if he were on one of the levels.