Throw some salt on those snails and decide whether you want to discard or keep your sense of kindness. This week we are diving into The platform, or El Hoyo, if you’re nasty.


Released: 2019
Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia
Writers: David Desola, David Desola
Cast: Iván Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Alexandra Masangkay

Breakdown and Analysis

  • This film started off very strong. The middle kept the quality as well as Goreng’s interactions with other characters reinforces his sense of self. So we were really bolstering up for a wholly satisfying end but we didn’t get that.
  • Sometimes people want to be too clever for their own good and it backfires. And Oti felt like this is what happened particularly at the end.
  • Wholly immersive, deeply stories are what KT prefers over action movies. Simple in nature but multi layered in it’s messaging. There was so much to be able to discuss and tie into real life. Even the interactions between the characters but it did fall flat.
  • The carthasis Oti was expecting to feel at the end was shortlived where he felt the whole narrative wasn’t really delivered. When the ending was left up to us to derive. Which isn’t a problem but when it had a strong build up it felt more like premature ejaculation. A sad time for all.
  • Goreng walks us through social commentary in his interactions and his own being. He symbolised what most people would do in this situation. Not fully expecting what he got and quickly realising he would need to adapt. Oti was right there with Goreng but KT had qualms with him taking too long to realise in prison, when presented with food you should take in.
  • KT didn’t feel like the premise of the movie was strong enough. Goreng’s reason for going into the Vertical Platform wasn’t compelling. Goreng is an academic, Trimagasi, who chose the hole over a mental hospital. Was this just a place they put people they didn’t want to deal with anymore? It got distracting for KT to focus on why we would continue through these moments of struggle. Imoguiri is a good example of companies only caring about employees as much as they can milk it out of you. As soon as they get your time and efforts, we will throw you in. There is a lot of messaging to be made about corporates mistreating their own.
  • Oti wonders how Trimigasi was able to tie up Goreng without any resistance. It made sense to KT, he was coming off cold but he needed to protect himself from Goreng. It is not fair to attack someone’s character in times of struggle.
  • It is not fair to denote to someone’s sense of self on what they would do under the harshest of conditions. There is certainly a burden to survival. It’s like saying people that had less opportunities than you should have just worked harder. So when you are on level 71, there is no magic power to save you. You need to survive yourself. Maybe people could have held out a bit longer but what beacon of hope did they have?
  • A lot of the time, the viewer can take on the role of Goreng. He had a slow descent into madness.
  • We have the caste system in the Vertical Centre. Imoguiri truly believed that there was enough food for everyone if they all took only a portion. Noble but certainly naive. Especially when you spend the last month on a lower level where you don’t get anything in abundance. A big theme to this film is, Why would I? There was nothing stopping them from helping. There were particular rules in regards to not taking food while platform leaves but nothing about an egalitarian approach. We have the contrast of Goreng forcing people to want to share. The difference between this world and the caste system is that you get some sort of glory. The chance to move up, if only for a while.
  • When Goreng was on Level 6, it was clear that he didn’t feel comfortable because he knew the lack of food lower levels received. He saw his favourite, snails, but chose not to take more than needed. One of the rare moments in the field where we see remorse for their indulgence.
  • Baharat failed because he relied on the kindness of strangers. The only way you can change the system is by being selfless. It’s nice that there is hope for people to move up but that adds a layer of sadism. It’s a strategy to further break people, knowing what they could have. Trimigasi notes that having abundance can get mundane and we will have people jumping off. A lot of people do not do well alone in their own thoughts. You can be on 171 and then shoot up to 6. Not with Goreng, but people quickly forgot what it was like to have nothing. Oti draws a parallel to corrupt politicians. They do so much to push change but once they get to the top they abandon all that and look out for themselves. It’s human nature, if you can’t save everyone, you save yourself. Interestingly, in the real world we sometimes look to celebrities to make a change without acknowledging that we are capable of the same.
  • There is a fine line where you can help others while helping yourself. It is a continual cycle you are going through, it is not just a month of hunger pains. This is where we see Goreng and Baharat come together. You can point your fingers but if you aren’t going to do anything, then shut the fuck up.
  • How do you qualify who ends up on which level?
  • There was so much care put into the food only to see those on 1 just trampling all over it. Over appreciation. Complacency happens to the best of us. In some cases, life is hard enough to get you and your loved ones through. Why the fuck do I care about a politician? It isn’t always neceddarily about greed.
  • Goreng and Baharat are delivering the panna cotta on the bottom we come across the child. When you try to advance yourself, you are relying on the kindness of others. Your goals are at the mercy of others.
  • Imoguiri was under the impression that Miharu was an actress. Seemingly a lie told within the company when the truth was the 1 thing she chose to bring was her child. If you knew the child was there and the child was the message, you lose the message. Because the message is kindness. Selflessness. Taking care of the next generation.
  • Miharu was scared and at the mercy of others. Goreng stood out because he treated her like a human. And this gesture was returned by Miharu later in the movie.
  • They were trying to feed everyone until the wheelchair suggested they save the most prized food.
  • The message does not need a messenger.
  • Whoever he was coming in cannot fully assimilate in the world knowing what he has done. There is acceptance that he is a different person. His mental state is not the same. The fact he decided to stay at the bottom because he gave up on survival.
  • How did the logistics of knocking people out and moving them to a different platform work? KT would have tried to clog all her holes to avoid being knocked.
  • The ending was frustrating because from the start it was proving to be capable of delivering a heavy yet balanced message. It was on it’s way to delivering something that was meaningful, passionate.
  • It was interesting to see, in a quick montage, what people chose as their one item. Who would bring a surfboard? They knew they were going into a confined space. Money was the most useless thing to bring. You could probably try to bribe people, but once they realise they aren’t getting out, it is useless. A true social construct.

Unrelated but vital points

  • Theo is on the top floor and KT and Oti are at the bottom.
  • Ivan was in Pan’s Labyrinth.
  • Oti is the only person that still says wretch in 2020.
  • Oti belongs to over 100 different religions because he continues to collect pamphlets handed to him.
  • Butter heals all. Except for Oti: Reference After Dark.
  • We like to check how much longer of the movie is left but we didn’t do it with El Hoyo.
  • The chef looked like Wolfgang.
  • Don’t be shit people. Don’t be dicks.
  • When I was an Oti, my KT would take me into the city to see a mariachi band. My Chemical Romance reference.

For Your Reference


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