Reviewed by: Jason Murphy
Starring: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri, Armin Rohde, Joachim Król, Ludger Pistor, Suzanne von Borsody, Sebastian Schipper, Julia Lindig, Lars Rudolph, Andreas Petri, Klaus Müller, Utz Krause, Beate Finckh / Director: Tom Tykwer
“Run Lola Run” is an extremely rare film. It’s an experimental film, but it’s the most entertaining experimental film I’ve seen. Stylistically, it’s similar to a music video, but it has a lot of substance to back up the style. It’s definitely an art-house type film, but it is probably one of the most crowd-pleasing films I’ve seen in ages. It successfully combines romance, action, suspense, drama, and humor, as well as meaning.
What “Run Lola Run” does is to show how all the little decisions we make throughout the day affect not only us, but everyone around us. And it does this by telling one story several times.
Lola, a red haired punk, is called by her boyfriend Manni, a courier for a diamond smuggler. Manni accidentally lost 100000 DM, and he has 20 minutes to find it, or his boss will kill him. Lola calms him down, telling him that she’ll find the money for him. And she starts running to find the money. However, this 20 minute time span is retold several times, and each time, Lola and the people around her make slightly different decisions which lead to drastically different situations.
The film has stunning camera work, which mixes 35mm film, video, and animation to a pounding techno soundtrack, underscoring the ticking clock as Lola runs. The director uses a stream-of-consciousness style of editing which allow us to see not the character’s thoughts, but what happens to them as a result of the various decisions made. The acting, while it takes a backseat to the style, is nonetheless terrific.
From a Christian perspective, the movie has its ups and downs. There is a fair amount of profanity (subtitled; the movie is in German), some violence, though it is not terribly graphic, and references to an affair Lola’s father is having, although no sex is shown at all. On the upside, the film is a story of someone going all out to save the person she loves. More so, the film, at least for me serves as a powerful reminder to remember that even our smallest actions can dramatically affect other people’s lives.
I saw “Run Lola Run” at the Seattle Film Festival, where it deservedly won Best Picture. I would encourage those without an aversion to subtitles to check the film out. It’s one well worth seeing.