The Platform Movie Review
A man wakes up in a prison cell, a hole in the floor and ceiling, a single cellmate sitting across from him. Each day, a platform descends from the ceiling, covered in table scraps--remnants of the meals consumed by the prisoners in the 45 floors above them. Then the platform descends further…
The Platform (El hoyo), the Netflix-trending, premise-rich thriller from Spain (warning: subtitles!), is an intriguing, absorbing and occasionally violent film that you probably won’t ever watch again.
Bearing some similarities to Snowpiercer, which was also a high-concept thriller about class warfare, The Platform packs a punch, even if it is short lived. It is nonetheless a superb feature-length debut for director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia, who takes the screenplay by David Desola and turns it into a tight and taut experience.
The movie looks fantastic and features an immersive performance by Ivan Massagué, who transforms physically and otherwise through the film’s 90-minute runtime. Similar to what happens to Massagué’s character, The Platform wears and cuts you to the bone. The journey is exhilarating and exhausting.
Which, sadly, sucks you dry by the time its unfulfilling conclusion comes about. As fantastic as the premise is, as well executed as the product is, the third act loses some of what made the earlier parts so good. Its unrelenting stumble toward the finish line would maybe have worked had the finish line been worth it, but the metaphorical message Massagué and Desola were seemingly going for doesn’t translate to a fulfilling conclusion.
As good as much of The Platform is, its ending doesn’t entirely work. The movie serves, then, as a great experiment and a terrific directorial debut, but a so-so final product. Worth seeing, but not worth raving about.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.