A movie in the genre of thriller and sci-fi, which was screened on Netflix in 2019, disturbing the audience with the scenario of The Platform and not leaving them alone after watching it. It is so different that throughout the film, it connects reality and simulation, fiction and metaphors, leaving the audience to interpret the facts in their minds.
Our movie takes place in a 333-story prison. Two people live on each floor of this prison, and the names of the people and the floors they stay in change at regular intervals. From the 0th floor, a platform filled with food prepared to the finest detail begins to descend from the upper floor. It stays within a certain time interval on each floor and continues to descend. While the people on the upper floors enjoy the food on this platform, the food decreases as you go down to the lower layer. For that downstairs, the only thought now is to survive in this ‘hole’. And in order to survive, rebellion is inevitable. This is what makes up the visible part of the movie. So, is the movie really all that?
Our movie begins with these words: “There are three kinds of people: those above, those below, and those who fall.” The mechanism is set up in such a way that it is possible to jump down from that hole, but not go up. Of course, some fall. At the beginning of the movie, we first wake up with Gareng at the 48th hole. Right in front of him is the old Trimagasi. Everyone is allowed to take an item with them when entering the hole. While Gareng takes a book with him, Trimagasi enters with a knife that does not rust as he cuts. Although entering the hole is based on different reasons, it still takes place voluntarily. But no one knows what will happen inside. Out of management. Starting from the 0th floor, wines, meats, and cakes are prepared in a way that even the audience can’t imagine, in the tables that are delicately prepared every day, starting from the upper floor and starting to go down and be eaten by the people on every floor. As the platform descends, the food decreases, and after a certain level, there is no food left. Although Gareng initially refuses to eat the waste of 94 people on the top 47 floors and two on each floor, he is physiologically obliged to eat after a certain time to survive. The perfect state of the platform on the 0th floor and the visible state on the last floor actually give us the following message. As soon as the human hand touches it, the whole order breaks down, all the beauties disappear. Because a person’s appetite is so strong that there is a meal that would be enough for everyone if he knew how to share. And in fact, from the beginning, the platform is rich enough to reach the lower floors if everyone takes as much as they need from the platform. Gareng cannot accept this order at first. He wants to know how many floors there are below. Just as he is about to call out, Trimagasi warns him.
-Don’t call them
-Why is that?
-Because they’re down.
Just when Gareng is about to call out to those above, he warns her again.
-The above doesn’t answer either.
-Why is that?
-Obviously because they’re up there.
Gareng receives an untouched apple when the platform arrives. When the platform goes down, the 48th floor suddenly starts to heat up. Since Trimagasi has been in this hole for months, he knows the layout of the hole.
-Get rid of the apple, he says. Meals are ours only when the platform is on our floor. If you hide something from it, the temperature will rise. Or it freezes to death.
The dialogues of Gareng and Trimagasi on the 48th floor are the part where the messages are given in a short but simple way throughout the movie. You cannot call down because you are above. You are superior to them. The above will not answer you because you are below. Gareng would like to warn the above. They can share their meals with us, he thinks.
Trimagasi warns him again: Are you a communist?
-No, says Gareng. I am rational. It would be fair to share.
-The above do not like communists.
-Then we start from the bottom.
And this is how the inter-floor dialogue begins.
Old Trimagasi, one of the main characters of the movie, touches on the different dimensions of the order and warns both the audience and Gareng to understand the order. Trimagasi, who is quite obsessed with the details, says that “the details made me crazy”, actually represents the process he was in the hole and the life of the world. She enlightens him a little more in her dialogue with Gareng.
“The above are also decreasing. You can eat as much as you want upstairs, but you don’t have any expectations and you have a lot to think about. Everything is normalizing.”
In fact, we see that being at the top and having too much is another test. Although physiological needs are the priority, unhappiness and the need for a search are still felt when these are met. The desire for happiness and life is not just a meal or a share of the platform. Thus, we see that it is not enough to buy in order to survive.
In the film, the transition between floors is provided by gas. People are gassed and move to a different floor. This awakening turns into a reward for some and death for others. Gareng’s second awakening takes place on the 171st floor. And the message of this floor is this: Hunger leads to madness. This madness becomes such that people living together on the same floor are killing each other because they cannot find food, and the flesh of the dead gives life to those who remain. When Gareng’s new friend here voluntarily enters this platform, whose other awakening took place on the 33rd Floor after the 171st Floor, it is the woman who interviews him. The fact that the woman does not know what actually inside gives people a different message. What is known about management is not as clear as we think. And this reality is not provided to everyone who serves the administration. Gareng, who wakes up on the 202nd and 6th floors throughout the movie and tries to survive, wants to take this journey in a different direction and announce this awakening to everyone on the other floors. During the journey, Gareng sees a woman descending on the platform among the meals. Old Trimagasi says this woman was looking for her child and killed one of the floors so she could go downstairs. But he also learns that there are no children on the floors, that those under the age of 16 cannot enter the platform, and that the management is very meticulous in this regard. Gareng, who stays with a black man nicknamed Spice on the last floor, is looking for a solution to this order by convincing him. A sage they meet on the floors tells them to send a message upstairs. And he adds: the administration has no conscience, but you have a chance for the other people there. He says send them a message. Between the meals, Gareng and the black man set off on the platform to go to the last floor of the hole and share the meal with the people on the bottom floor. As they go downstairs, they give everyone as much food as their share and needs. However, the number of floors is more than their estimates. As they descend to the lower floors, they see the madness that hunger will bring. And a miracle happens. With the platform at the very end of the floors, Gareng sees this girl in disguise staring at her with frightened eyes. This child is the child of the woman who is looking for her daughter on the platform. And by putting this child on the platform, he sends it up as a message.
The movie ends with the last sentences:
“… the person who holds wealth is not happy because he is holding it, it is because he spends it. It happens not because he spends as he likes, but because he knows how to spend it.”
The movie ends with Gareng putting the girl on the platform. Since the receiver does not need a receiver for the message to go, he himself is left down in old Trimagasi’s dream.
Although the messages of the movie are not given clearly, in fact, the audience is pushed to question with very short and simple sentences. The prison referred to as a hole is actually our world. The platform is what we have as wealth. For some it is the world, it is believed, for some, it is religion, for some it is nature, for some it is human. The platform can of course be interpreted in many ways. The viewer’s ability to interpret in his mind actually follows a parallel line with the viewer’s interpretation of the world. While there is enough for everyone on the platform inside the hole, there is no room for the people below because of human gluttony. Even though the movie is prepared with a message that resembles the big fish and the small fish, the fact that we cross between floors shows us that we can be small fish at times. The realization of the message intended to be given above through the child is another metaphor. It is reminded that the strongest message to be conveyed to the future will be realized through children. A radical change will take place through them and the continuation of this order. If you teach that child to share his food, the message will reach people of conscience. The child is a symbol that shows innocence and the future on this platform. Although the message of the movie is tied to many places, we can clearly see that when people want more, they can disappear not because of the inadequacy of nature, beliefs, and religions, but because of their own hunger. Segregation may be inevitable when a man cannot integrate into the human family. If we want to leave a life behind from human beings, we should look at the whole place, not the square, and we should take responsibility for it. We should not exploit anything that is in front of us, in our hands, in our life, but should take enough of it. We do not need to pass between floors to understand that time is not just today. We can also increase by giving. Because we will either share or continue to eat human flesh.