2019 TIFF Movie Review: THE PLATFORM (EL HOYO) (Spain 2019)

The Platform Poster
In a future “dystopia”, prisoners housed in vertically stacked cells watch hungrily as food descends from above, feeding the upper tiers, but leaving those below ravenous and radicalized.

This is a prison movie.  The prison: The Pit — a provocative permutation of a panopticon whereby hundreds of cells are vertically stacked, and hollowed out through the middle. Each day, a platform adorned with a decadent feast descends through the tower from its summit. It stops on each level for a few minutes, keeping those near the top well-fed, and those at the lower levels fighting for leftovers.  

 A citizen of a not-too-distant dystopia voluntarily incarcerates himself with the promise of increased social mobility upon release, but becomes so radicalized by his captivity that he will risk everything to ride a devilish dumbwaiter on a one-way ticket to protect a pannacotta, a symbol for an important message for the authorities.  Every prison needs an escape plan.

 THE PLATFORM has one where the pannacotta has to survive going down to ground level.  Director Gaztelu-Urrutia’s production sets are superb, the atmosphere chilling and creepy while his characters desperate and dangerous.  The trouble is that the logic does not make sense, especially the pannacotta message.  A good premise that fails to follow through.

Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bsyicj2qdqs