However, the modern viewing audience is quick to recognize a morality tale and the line between "teaching" and "preaching" gets thinner and thinner. Luckily, this 2019 Netflix original nails the balance and tells a haunting dystopian story with a firm political message.
When The Platform was announced as part of Netflix's upcoming slate of originals, Twitter erupted into a series of takes calling it "vertical Snowpiercer." It did seem to fit — while Snowpiercer took place on a train with the lowest classes at the back and the higher classes in the front, The Platform depicted a society where the most fortunate people were at the top of a tower, with the least fortunate at the bottom.
However, that description doesn't do The Platform justice. Where Snowpiercer's depicted humanity's last stand as people, The Platform's "Vertical Self-Management Center" is more akin to a prison. Pairs of prisoners are randomly assigned a level in a massive tower, and every day a platform full of luxurious food gets lowered down every floor. The people on Floor 1 gorge themselves, while the people on the ground floor starve.
The protagonist of the film is Goreng, a studious man who volunteered for The Pit (as the center is known) in exchange for a diploma. What follows is a dissection of trickle-down economics, socialism, class in general, and how the public airs its grievances to those in power.
Where Snowpiercer told the story of the lower class rising up against the higher classes, The Platform has a much smaller scope. It's the story of one man's mission to rise up against his fellow inmates and convince them not to stage a coup, but simply to make their voice heard.
However, the level of violence and gore is just the same. With any story about those suffering extreme hunger, eventually, the topic of cannibalism will be brought up. That's explored in gruesome detail, along with other violent acts. It's not for the faint of heart, but it doesn't feel gratuitous.
Usually, dystopian movies take a problem and amplify it. They exaggerate the concern in order to raise awareness for a cause. The Platform does the opposite. It takes a problem that encompasses the entire world — classism and privilege — and distills it down to just an event happening in a single building. It's claustrophobic, it's arresting, and it's brilliant.
The Platform is now streaming on Netflix in the U.S.