RUN LOLA RUN - Aces Kinetic Filmmaking
“Run Lola Run” is a brilliant non-stop rave of a movie
Run Lola Run
Realease Date: August 20th, 1998
Date of My First Viewing: June 10th, 2019
There is no good reason why it took me 21 years to watch “Run Lola Run”. None. Not one possibility worth defending has come to mind as to why I have avoided such a brilliant and out-there piece of filmmaking. It came out during that sweet-spot when I was trying to find all sorts of critically acclaimed films because I thought I had to. The fact I never watched it while in college, which was just a few years after its release, is ludicrous in retrospect. I knew the film’s central concept, and, well, I have an aversion to redheads. Again… there was no good reason why I avoided this film by Tom Tykwer until the year 2019.
For those who need a refresher course, “Run Lola Run” stars Franka Potente in the title role of Lola. Her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) is a low-level bagman, who happens to lose 100,000 Deutsche Mark when he panics after seeing police officers on a subway train. A homeless man ends up with the bag full of money, and Manni’s superiors ends up with life in their hands. He has 20 minutes to recover the money or raise it via alternative means to avoid coming down with a slight case of murder. This is where Lola comes into the story. Manni calls her for help, and Lola takes off running to offer said help while also keeping Manni from robbing a grocery store that, in no way, has 100,000 Deutsche Mark on the premises.
When Lola takes off towards Manni, the film’s breakneck pace and tempo takes hold. Lola’s run is accented by a pulsating and continuous techno soundtrack that evokes the mood of a never-ending rave. The soundtrack provides the rhythm for Lola’s run, which is more impactful than she realizes. A wonderfully brilliant thing happens as Lola is on her way to Manni. She bumps into or interacts with certain characters. Tykwer then employs a fast-forward technique to show how interacting with Lola changed the lives of those characters. This concept has always fascinated me, and it’s something I tried to do in a similar way with a student screenplay years ago. Tykwer takes it to another level once he shows the audience the true concept behind the film.
I feel I’m not spoiling things by saying “Run Lola Run” presents the central plot in three different ways. When Lola completes the actions of her “first” run, the film resets. Lola is back at her apartment, and she must find a way to Manni. Small changes from the previous run cause massive changes in the lives of the characters along the way. Many sites have spent a good deal of time examining the philosophical elements on display during “Run Lola Run” so I’m not going to break any new ground here. I will say, though, that I’m all for the concept of minor fluctuations in a routine having monumental consequences into the future.
I’m glad I have this site as a reason to get off my proverbial ass and see films like “Run Lola Run” that I have missed all these years. This is a film I would have loved even more had I watched it in the late 90’s or early 2000’s. I’m sure it would have influenced what I was doing and trying to write a great deal. Even for a movie that’s 21 years old, it still feels fresh, new, and alive. That’s saying something when you consider the film landscape in 1998.