While it tries to cloak itself as a science fiction film, the real message of the movie slowly reveals itself as you watch it. You will discover who each of the characters in the film represent in our society. It just boggles my mind how the writer was able to tell a story and create characters that portray how our society functions in the modern era and yet was still able to deliver a viable movie plot that works on its own.
SPOILER ALERT: Don't proceed if you haven't seen the movie yet. Watch the movie first, then read my analysis.
This movie just sums it all up about how our society works in the present. There was no random character in this movie, everyone who appeared in the film represents a group of people in our society. In this analysis, I will focus on those characters starting with the main protagonist:
Goreng- He is an Idealist. He represents the people in our society who dreams of change, he is noble and kind. This is evident when he chose to bring a book (Don Quixote of La Mancha) to The Hole instead of a tool or a weapon. The book he brought was even a representation of himself in the movie... a noble knight.
The Butler in Level 0- He is the administration, the government. He represents the people in power, the world leaders. He is in control of everything. He meticulously inspects all the dishes being served in the platform, he will not allow any imperfection get away like the single strand of hair he found in the Panna Cotta. He is all about the food presentation, but he does not really care about how far out his dishes will serve the people in the lower levels. Is he even aware that only the people on the higher levels are benefiting from what he serves? Does he only serve the elite... the wealthy 1%?
Trimagasi- He is a seasoned veteran. He represents the people in our society who were hardened by the system, people who have already experienced it all and just want to survive day by day. These are the people who no longer desire change not because they never wanted it but because they have given up on all hope. He is the one who told Goreng, not to talk to the people below them because they're down below and also not to talk to the people above them because they will not answer him, "obviously".
Imoguiri- She is a part of the administration. She worked all her life for the system but she has not really experienced it first-hand. She thinks she knows how the system work but we found out in the movie that she was all wrong. She thought that the Hole has only 200 levels but there were 333 levels in total. She thought that the administration was not letting minors inside the Hole but we found out in the end that a child was in fact in level 333.
Baharat- He is a hard-working citizen, the working class. These are the people who aspire for success their whole lives, they work so hard to reach the top of the social ladder but the people higher than them will never allow them to reach their goal because they pose as a threat to their own positions. This was shown in the film when Baharat begged the couple in level 5 to help him climb up; the couple made him believe they were going to help him but they defecated on his face instead.
Wise Man in a wheelchair- He is a teacher. He represents the people working in our education system. These are the people who prepare us on how to deal with society, they teach us to be civilized in the modern world. The wise man told Baharat to do a dialogue with the prisoners first before he shows them any aggression but he soon realizes that being aggressive works better.
Miharu- She is a parent. She represents the loving parents in our society who would do anything in order for their children to survive. She may appear vicious in the film, but she was only doing what was necessary for her child to survive.
Miharu's Daughter- She is the message. She is the message of hope that our society can still reach a sense of solidarity. Sadly, the goal of the Hole for its prisoners was not achieved in the movie, although Goreng and Baharat were able to send a message that there is still hope for the future.
It was not explained in the movie how the floor levels are being assigned at the beginning of each month to the prisoners, but I think when you are new in the Hole, they will put you in a level where food scraps will still reach you. Goreng was assigned in level 48 in his first month, Trimagasi's first cell was in level 72, and Imoguiri was placed in level 33 when she entered the Hole. I also don't believe that the cell levels are being assigned randomly to the prisoners in the following months. I think that if the prisoners do not eat or kill their cellmates, they will be assigned to the bottom levels. This is what happened to Goreng and Trimagasi when they went from level 48 down to level 171 the next, then Goreng ate Trimagasi and he went up to level 33. My theory was confirmed when Goreng and Imoguiri went from level 33 down to level 202, then Goreng ate Imoguiri and he was assigned in Level 6 the next month. For me, this represents that you will not be successful in this society unless you learn to be vicious; it's a dog eating dog world; eat or be eaten.
This is also the reason why Miharu was killing all her cellmates-- to make sure that she will always be assigned to a higher floor level every month, then she goes down along with the platform to ensure that some food will reach her daughter in level 333. She was not actually looking for her child, she knows exactly where her child is. She never taught her daughter to consume human flesh so she would always be assigned at the lowest level of The Hole. Miharu was doing all of those things to ensure that her daughter will survive.
Imoguiri said that the goal of the Hole was to create a spontaneous sense of solidarity, which is also what we need in our society. All the prisoners could have survived if only the people above would be considerate with the people below-- but greed and selfishness always get the best of us. Perhaps the solution was simple: if all the prisoners only stick on eating their favorite food then everyone will be able to eat. The Hole serves all of the prisoner's favorite dish, this was shown during the interview scene of Goreng and confirmed when he saw the Escargot on the platform for the first time when he was in level 33. It was also discovered by Goreng and Baharat at the ending of the film that they can actually keep their favorite food on their cell level without being burned or frozen to death. The Panna Cotta is the favorite food of Miharu's daughter, that's why she was able to eat it in level 333 even if the platform already went down. Goreng, who dreamed of a better society, tried his best to make the people understand how everyone can benefit if they just stop being selfish and greedy. He made the ultimate sacrifice-- he left the security and abundance of level 6 so he can show all the people how solidarity can save all of them from hunger. But greed and selfishness proved to be the stronger foe.
Review by jaynuguid-63882 from the Internet Movie Database.