The Platform

So I just watched a Spanish psychological horror film called “The Platform” on Netflix. It was an unveiled critique about capitalism and the terrible acts our society spurs people to do on every level of it. Highly recommend, it was a great watch that left me and my husband discussing it for a long time afterwards.

But this article isn’t actually about that, it’s about this:

In this video, the YouTuber gives six “solutions” to being imprisoned in the Hole that are absolutely ludicrous. Before I begin, I’m just gonna show why all six of his solutions are implausible:

  1. Kill everyone in the prison below you: Not only is this highly dangerous, it would accomplish nothing. If you start on floor X and kill everyone below you until landing on floor 333, you’re still just gonna get the same food you would have gotten on floor X. And then the prison repopulates next month and you’re stuck on a random floor where you’ll have to do it all over again.
  2. Wait it out: OK I guess this one’s valid, but it’s not really a ‘solution’, more just playing by the rules of the Hole. Also he gets his math horrendously wrong by forgetting you CAN survive two stints on a foodless floor so long as they aren’t in a row.
  3. Ride the platform up: Not only would this force you to fight every single floor below yours down to 333, you would then 100% die when it pancakes you on the top floor. The platform is shown to propel inhumanly-fast specifically to prevent prisoners from doing this.
  4. Don’t volunteer: I mean, I guess this one’s valid too, but it’s like saying, “How to 100% win a soccer game; don’t play the game.”
  5. Bring a useful item: While he’s correct on principle, the items he suggests are terrible choices. His suggestions essentially boil down to “weapons or your own food.” The former puts you in extreme bodily harm for fleeting benefits, the latter runs out long before your sentence does.
  6. Climb up: The scenario he describes completely violates the laws of physics. It’s already unlikely you’ll be able to throw a rope to wedge itself between the platform and the hole, but then the rope is going to fall the second the platform moves down. Gravity will not give you enough time to grab the edge of the platform while you’re underneath it. Even then, assuming you pull that off, and then assuming you successfully kill both people on the floor above you, and then assuming you also managed to catch and bring the rope with you, you’ve got to wait another whole day before the food platform arrives again. Meaning you’d need to start on floors 1-30 for this to even be feasible (a 9% chance), and you’d have plenty of food anyway if you were on those platforms. This has to be the most irrational suggestion on his whole list.

Of course, the real answer is that there isn’t one. The characters are implied to mostly have no idea what they’re getting themselves into (as evidenced by one nimrod bringing a surfboard) and they didn’t have all the information until they’re already trapped in the Hole. But since the YouTuber operated from the perspective of someone with infinite knowledge, I figure I would too and give (in my opinion) three solutions far better than all six of his.

Option 1: Request canned food for your favorite meal, then bring a can opener as your unique item. Anyone without a can opener won’t be able to access your food, leaving you a much greater chance of it reaching you every day. However there are some flaws to this plan, as several characters in the movie brought bladed objects which could likely open cans (most notably Trimagasi, whose knife can literally cut through anything) so you’re out of luck if one of them landed above you but still in the ‘otherwise-no-food’ levels.

Option 2: The ideal solution is to bring an item that frees you entirely from relying on the food platform. The best thing coming to my mind is a chicken, which would lay an egg every day that either of you could eat. Another option is a portable hydroponic growing system whose soil is pre-planted with a medley of fast-growing seeds like radishes, scallions, and sunflowers. Remember the Hole comes with free unlimited water. While you won’t be eating like a king, you’ll generate enough steady calories to up your odds of survival considerably.

Option 3: Bring a jetpack as your item. The YouTuber suggested either grappling hooks or ropes, but those would require cooperation from the people on floors above you. Pure flight is the only feasible option for brute-force escaping, and I suspect a world with levitating concrete platforms has invented highly-controllable jetpacks. But if they haven’t, I guess you could bring a personal smaller version of the floating platform and use that, though unless you set it to ‘fast’ you’ll have to fight the denizens of each floor above yours until you reach Floor 0.

Are these solutions great? No, but the situation is transparently designed to allow no easy answers, and in my opinion they all have better odds of success than anything the YouTuber suggested. Personally, I like Option 2 the best, mostly because it fits into the themes of the movie. A person growing their own food and self-sustaining is metaphorically removing themselves from society, and indeed would no longer participate in the rat race that infects the rest of us by coloring every waking moment of our class-determined lives.

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