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#TIFF19 Review: The Platform (Midnight Madness)

September 16, 2019

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

The winner of the Midnight Madness People’s Choice Award, The Platform is a grisly and nasty Spanish thriller that boasts a really interesting premise. The film is set in a vertical prison called The Pit that has hundreds of floor, and two people trapped on each. At the start of the film, the somewhat idealistic new inmate Goreng (Iván Massagué) is trapped in the pit with Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor), a gluttonous older man who embraces the concept of ensuring his own survival at all costs.

There are rectangular openings in the floor and ceiling of each level, and once a day, a platform filled with food moves through the floors from top to bottom, stopping for a short time on each. Those at the top are treated to an elaborate meal, while those underneath are forced to eat whatever scraps are left, and the people at the bottom often end up with nothing because nobody on the upper levels is willing to share. Through this, The Platform becomes not only a metaphorical look at how those at the top take from those at the bottom, but also how easy it is for people who are trapped on the same less fortunate level to turn on each other when the circumstances call for it.

Working from a script by David Desola and Pedro Rivero, first time feature director Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia has crafted an inventive and psychologically engaging, if often unpleasant to watch, suspense thriller that is contained in a single setting. Made on a limited budget, The Platform looks much more expensive than it is, and The Pit itself is an impressive, stripped down feat of production design that provides a claustrophobic stage for the film’s action. It’s not for those with weak stomaches, but hardier genre fans should check it out. Netflix has unsurprisingly already picked it up and, mark my words, The Platform will surely get an American remake within the next few years.

Public Screenings:

Friday, September 6th – 11:59 PM at Ryerson Theatre

Sunday, September 8th – 10:00 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

Sunday, September 15th – 7:15 PM at Scotiabank Theatre

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