The Platform AKA El Hoyo 2019 Movie Ivan Massagué as Goreng and Emilio Buale as Baharat reaching the last level while sitting on a platform suspended in air

The Platform AKA El Hoyo [2019]

Sometimes you can feel that you’re watching your new favorite movie as you’re watching it. And that’s exactly what I felt as I was The Platform AKA El Hoyo, probably the best Netflix movie ever made. It seamlessly blends science fiction, action, horror, and comedy genres into one highly entertaining mixture. We will be following a man who finds himself inside a strange vertical prison. The cells have no doors or windows just a giant hole in the middle where the eponymous platform moves. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot as that’s half the fun.

On the face of it, the entire concept we see in the movie The Platform is rather simplistic. However, once you start thinking about it, you’ll soon understand its endless complexity. Obviously, it represents our society and our current, tribal system of values. Is this really it? Are we capable of something more? Even if we were able to bring about change with our actions, what would happen in the next cycle? The more you start questioning things and plotting different scenarios the more the calculations become complex.

And do not think because of this thought-provoking nature, this is a dull or a boring movie. The Platform is an exceedingly entertaining movie with a flawless script and intriguing characters. Just you wait and see, soon you’ll be calling everyone around you mi caracol. Which is an endearing term in my opinion and I don’t mean anything bad by it. And you’ll be saying obviously every time you can cram it in a sentence. On top of all of this, we have excellent production values and sleek cinematography. Just one of the benefits of such a small set. And please, for the love of Satan, do watch the original version of the movie in Spanish, with subtitles.

The main theme of The Platform is an obvious one, the vertical, top-down hierarchy we live in currently. It’s an accurate visual representation of the tribal system of values also encompassing both capitalism and socialism. Moreover, it manifests the lack of answers and our struggle to find them in the first place. And while some people may call it dark or humanity at its worst, I simply call it a reality. Yes, The Platform is our reality, mi caracol. And we should consider ourselves lucky if our lives are such that we don’t see it as our reality.

Mostly because for a lot of people in this world, this is their reality. And this shitty world may turn you into a cynical person, a survivor, a “winner”. You can see this clearly in the dynamic between Gorang and Trimagasi. Moving on, I should probably say that the ending could’ve been better. I know it’s kind of poetic and deep but I still think a masterpiece like this needed a stronger ending. Especially since both the first and the second acts are just so powerful and captivating.

Conceptually, The Platform is similar to the nineties science fiction hit Cube. However, this is a far more complex and well-crafted movie with loads of social commentary we didn’t get with Cube. Additionally, The Platform AKA El Hoyo is also a dark comedy. Not only the script is loaded with black humor but there’s also a physical comedy of the best kind. One of the scenes was so hilarious that I had to pause the movie to catch my breath. And yes, there’s no point hiding it, it’s the scene where Baharat happily decides to climb up the platform.

In case you had any doubts about human nature, that scene should dispel them quite effectively, mi caracol. It should be also noted that in the last few years, we saw an onslaught of movies trying to capitalize on this struggle against capitalism and our current tribal system of values. Triangle of Sadness and The Menu both feature plots exploring the class struggle and, oddly enough, the preparation of food. Although, apart from The Platform, another 2019 movie might have started this trend. I’m talking about, obviously, the South Korean hit The Parasite.

When your movie has so few elements, you need to make sure the cast is excellent because all the spotlight is going to be on them. And the cast of The Platform was fucking phenomenal led by charismatic Zorion Eguileor as Trimagasi and Ivan Massagué as Goreng. The two of them along with a committed performance from Emilio Buale brought the themes and characters of this movie to life. Finally, I just want to add that you can watch this movie over and over. And it won’t lose any bit of its quality, obviously. So, you better get to it, mi caracol. The phrase means my snail, mi caracol means my snail.

Director: Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia

Writers: David Desola, Pedro Rivero

Cast: Ivan Massagué, Zorion Eguileor, Antonia San Juan, Emilio Buale, Alexandra Masangkay

Fun Facts: The word obviously (obvio) is appears 26 times in the script.


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