Mark Metcalf
Moving Pictures

Run Lola Run keeps moving

By - Nov 13th, 2009 11:04 am
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Franka Pomente as Lola.

Franka Potente as Lola.

My attraction to Run Lola Run is simply that I like good movies that play with traditional storytelling methods and try new things.  I also like the woman who plays the lead. —Mark Metcalf

A girl with flaming, out-of-the-bottle red hair answers the phone. Her boyfriend has lost 100,000 Deutschmarks, and the gangster that the money belongs to is going to kill him in 20 minutes. Lola takes off running to get him the money.

And, she runs for most of the next 80 minutes. From a storytelling point of view, Run Lola Run is one of the most innovative films coming from anywhere in the last 30 years. The boyfriend, Manni, is going to rob a grocery store, which will get him in just as much trouble as he’s in with the gangster unless Lola can come up with the money in 20 minutes.

In three different scenarios, we see the same action unfold. But each scenario changes in seemingly random ways by a simple twist of fate, in the words of Bob Dylan. Each scenario seems to be triggered by Lola’s thoughts, almost as though she willed herself another chance to succeed. The wonderful thing about this interpretation of fate is that Lola seems to learn from earlier passages through the same event. In one scenario, for instance, she trips over the suddenly outthrust leg of a thug while running down stairs and subsequently limps through the rest of the action. The next time, in the very same scene, she leaps over the thug’s outstretched leg and gets everywhere a little earlier. Every time her actions are affected by the slightest thing and her actions change the lives of complete strangers that she passes or, literally, bumps into.

Layout 1:IJ[OneSheet-Keyart]MechFranka Potente plays Lola with the kind of off-the-street realism that she brings to Marie in the Bourne Trilogy.  But here the laser-like focus of her intensity is exploited to the greatest degree. She is literally running for her life. A great soundtrack keeps pace as she makes her run, and clever use of animation in certain sequences keeps it fun.

If you like your movies to be a bit of a puzzle, rent Run Lola Run. It doesn’t try to smugly fool you, but it poses questions about fate and about the effect our actions may have on those we pass by in the street, even if we’re walking.

Categories: Movies

0 thoughts on “Moving Pictures: Run Lola Run keeps moving”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I agree 100%… I like this movie a lot, and I also like Franka a lot. I think this showcases her work much better than the Bourne films do.

  2. Anonymous says:

    great film..
    succceeds where the video game meme it used, fails.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One of my favorite foreign films. An English/American version is way overdue. Not sure however that it can be properly emulated.

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