Monday, January 10, 2011

#157. Run Lola Run (1998)

Directed By: Tom Tykwer

Starring: Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup

Tag line: "The difference between life or death can be decided in a split second"

Trivia: It took nearly five weeks to persuade a supermarket in Berlin to allow them to shoot the robbery sequence

Run Lola Run has an incredible energy to it; from the moment a security guard (Armin Rohde) looks into the camera and says, “Here we go”, this movie barely stops to take a breath.

After completing a transaction for the mob, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) is on his way to deliver 100,000 DM to local crime boss Ronnie (Heino Ferch) when he mistakenly leaves the bag containing the money in a subway car, remembering it only as the train is speeding away. 

With exactly twenty minutes to go before he’s expected to deliver the cash, a frightened Manni calls his girlfriend Lola (Franka Potente) for help. Lola spends the next twenty minutes running through the streets as quickly as she can to reach Manni, who is on the other side of town, all the while trying to figure out how she can get her hands on such a large sum of money to bail him out of trouble. 

It seems Lola has a limited number of options available to her, and before Run Lola Run is over, we will see three of them acted out in their entirety

This is what makes Run Lola Run a fascinating film; crammed into its 80 minutes are three different versions of the exact same story. Lola’s mad dash plays out three times, each one slightly modified so that its outcome is completely unique. 

In every sequence, Lola tries to ask her father (Herbert Knaup), who works as a bank executive, to lend her the money. The first time, she ends up barging into his office at a most inopportune moment, causing her father to angrily refuse her request. The second time this scene plays itself out results in an even more disturbing chain of events, and by the third and final occurrence, Lola arrives at the bank late, just missing her father, who has left for a lunch meeting. 

The tempo of these sequences is fast-paced, but its director Tykwer's approach to the material that makes it all so exhilarating. By addressing the notion that the slightest alteration to any event, whether it be turning left instead of right or looking up instead of down, might drastically change the final result, Tykwer does more in Run Lola Run than excite our senses; he also dares us to think.

With an ingenious approach to it's story punctuated by rhythmic techno music to keep things hopping, Run Lola Run will blow you away.


Klaus said...

This is such a cool movie - and one of my first Blu-Ray purchases (a great transfer for a $12.00 movie!).

It's such an engaging film, and until Crank came along, this was was probably the most frantic movie i'd ever watched.

DVD Infatuation said...

@Klaus: "Frantic" is definitely a great word to describe this one, but definitely in a good way.

BTW, I have the Blu-Ray as well: a really great bargain for the price!