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Review: Run Lola Run (1998)


Run Lola Run is a German film by director Tom Tykwer that is crafted in a unique way that may seem a bit odd to hear it spoken of, but when you watch it you realize the masterful way that he’s put it all together.  The result is a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat while looking at some interesting philosophical concepts in a non-obtrusive way.

The basic plot revolves around Lola (Franka Potente) receiving a call from her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), who tells her that they have 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks or he’s a dead man.  So off she goes, running as fast as she can while trying to figure out a way to get way-too-much money in way-too-little time.

The interesting and appealing part about this film, aside from the high-paced, frenetic action, is in the fact that the same story is told three times.  Each time, the movie goes through the same basic scenario, but with quite different results.  There is an event right at the beginning of Lola’s run that happens in three different ways, each small change having a profound effect on every event that follows simply by virtue of Lola being a little bit ahead or a little bit 

behind.  The end result is three separate but viable endings to the same situation.

It may sound a bit repetitive, but the changes from one version of the story to the next are enough that each is completely different.  Also, whenever Lola happens to run into someone, whether she knows them or not, the way she encounters them directly affects the outcome of their lives.  This is shown in a brief montage of scenes that flash quickly across the screen.  You have to keep your eyes open and your mind sharp in order to catch everything that’s going on sometimes.

I have to give a warning, however:  Watching this film can make you very tired.  Franka Potente ran SO much in this film, I have no idea how she managed to keep it up.  Anyone with an interest in a uniquely laid out piece of film should give this movie a shot.