Ending The Platform is one thing that many audiences argue about. The debate arose because Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia as the director deliberately made the ending of this film very symbolic and open ending . I’m not surprised by that, indeed the whole film itself is an allegory which of course is full of symbols.
Explanation of the ending of The Platform film
In this paper Mariviu wants to interpret the ending of The Platform. Not through a heavy analytical narrative, but through the explanation of the meanings of the symbols that appear throughout the film, sorted by appearance in the film. Most of the symbols that appear from beginning to end can be used as clues to interpret the ending of The Platform.
But before that, I must remind you that the article below contains heavy spoilers . Therefore, if you haven’t watched The Platform and object to spoilers, it’s a good idea to read this article after watching the film and read the spoiler- free review first.
It is clear that the shape of the terraced prison floor is a symbol of the social class that occurs in today’s society. If we divide roughly, the division may only be 3: Upper class, Middle class, Lower class. But in reality, social class is a spectrum with an indeterminate number of levels, just like the number of levels in prisons in this film.
The evidence that the social class system is more spectral than concrete division is that even in social classes that are classified as ‘upper class’, competition and greed still occur. We can see this in the film The Platform.
After Goreng realized where he was and saw his cellmate, he immediately introduced himself. However, what’s interesting is, he asked the name of his partner with the question “what name did they give you?”, not “what’s your name?”.
This symbolizes the nature of government authority that takes away the personal and cultural identity of its people and gives it a new identity at random.
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I say random naming because the majority of the names in this film do not match the stereotype of the character’s racial name. In fact, most of them are Indonesian/Malay names.
In The Platform, food is distributed using a square stage from top to bottom. Always in the same direction, never periodically rotated and replaced from the ground up.
This symbolizes access to resources (resources) which always tend to be closer to the upper class. This unfair distribution system is a description of the distribution system of wealth in the real world that we live in today which is also unfair.
This word is repeated by Trimagasi 26 times throughout the film. There is no special meaning to the number of repetitions, but the symbol is precisely the word itself.
Trimagasi uses the word ‘obvio’ ( obviously ) as an answer to Goreng’s question regarding the prison system, which is actually quite obvious. This symbolizes how clear there is social inequality in society, but even the community itself is often ignored or not aware of it.
The film opens with a scene that shows how critical a head chef is in supervising the dishes made by his subordinate chefs. In the middle of the film, this scene reappears with more showing how perfectionist the head chef is as if the prison kitchen is a 5 star hotel kitchen. .
We can see the irony here. At the time the prison kitchen carried out very strict supervision of the food to be served, but the distribution system was very flawed. This illustrates how policy makers (in power/government) are too focused on the form of their policies, not on their implementation and implications for society.
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Imoguiri stated to Goreng that the number of levels in the vertical dungeon was 200 levels. He also assured Goreng that the supervision was so strict that children under the age of 16 were not allowed to enter the prison. In fact, both statements are false, even though Imoguiri was once part of the prison’s officers.
Imoguiri’s mistake clearly symbolizes the government’s ignorance of the conditions on the ground that he handles. Of course, we often see this in the real world, where the government is talking in his luxurious office, while the conditions on the ground are different from what he said.
In an attempt to make a difference, Goreng and Baharat chose the dessert Panna Cotta as the message to be sent ‘upstairs’. So they kept the dish from being shared with other prison inmates. We see this in the scene leading to the ending of The Platform.
In the world of cooking, Panna Cotta can be called a perfectionist dish because it requires precision in cooking. It should be textured just right, not too hard, but not too soft so that it can print.
Imoguiri once called the vertical prison the Vertical Self-Management Center . A center for fostering community attitudes in self-regulating, including regulating social care. Imoguiri even tried to educate the prisoners under him to do ‘spontaneous solidarity’.
Panna Cotta was chosen by Goreng and Baharat (based on Brambang’s suggestion) as a message to be conveyed to the ‘above’. The message that I think states that: Untouched Panna Cotta and returned to the kitchen intact is proof that spontaneous solidarity has occurred, vertical prison inmates have been able to organize themselves from greed, and that means the prison mission has been accomplished. So, prison officials should release the prisoners after that. At least, that’s the hope of Goreng and Baharat.
At the end of The Platform, we finally see the lowest floor of the vertical prison, which is the 333th floor. An odd number for the number of levels of a building. I see this as symbolic of what Goreng said at the beginning when the film started.
The number of floors 333 symbolizes the 3 types of humans, where Goreng and Baharat descend from the fairly top floor, namely the 6th floor, to the lowest floor expecting the fall to occur in the dilapidated system that surrounds them.
This explanation about the little boy also supports the explanation in the Panna Cotta part, which is to explain the meaning of the ending of The Platform.
The presence of a small child on the 333th floor (which is assumed to be the child Miharu has been looking for) again indicates that the government does not understand the conditions in the field and still believes that the rules they have created have been implemented properly. In fact, somehow, the regulations that prohibit the existence of children under the age of 16 are not strictly enforced.
Miharu’s child is then sent upstairs to replace Panna Cotta as a message. I saw that The Platform ending scene symbolizes two things.
The first, as a message to the authorities up there that the system they created was clearly leaked and they were not following the rules they made themselves. Small children were sent to the top as a message of protest from the grassroots to the government above to evaluate their performance and system which was clearly corrupt and failed.
The second meaning, a small child who was sent upstairs to replace Panna Cotta is a symbol of hope. When adults like Goreng and Baharat want to make a change, they often do it the wrong way because they are contaminated with biased moral values. For example, they do the distribution of food evenly like a socialist system, but in fact they kill some people they want to help.
Thus, young people who are considered to be still pure from moral contamination are considered as hopes for change. In the real world, young people are also often symbolized as movers, agents of change, and innovators.