Run Lola Run could very well be the punchiest piece of concept art to ever hit the silver screen, a shock-dose of German existential cinema you can ride. What with its jittery Kieślowskian philosophizing, the film clearly panders to the raver sect. Every beat of Tykwer’s thumping score is ferociously cued to the titular heroine’s seemingly infinite flights through the streets of Berlin. Perhaps if the film weren’t so playfully libidinal, it’d be much more difficult to take the reductive butterfly effect Tykwer hawks to his audience throughout the film. But amid the high-octane flash-forwards that reveal the fates of the film’s characters (triggered by the collisions with the ever-running Lola, played by Franka Potente), the film’s compassion for life is unmistakable. The film begs for multiple viewings, and if you’re already a fan you’ve no doubt come back for more. Slick metaphors abound (Lola’s “spin for papa” at the beginning of the film colorfully evokes the girl’s future roulette melodrama at a local casino) but it’s the girl’s ferocious jaunts through Berlin that truly grip the senses. Lola is a techno archangel who seeks to save boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) from himself. Their strained love story is told in three parts; each vastly different outcome is predicated on any number of split-second decisions and chance encounters Lola makes during her journey from home and the supermarket where she’s supposed to meet Manni. You’ve seen this “what if” story structure conjured in numerous films (most notably Groundhog Day and Sliding Doors), and the philosophy always amounted to the same thing: since our destinies are pre-ordained, what’s the use fighting life’s crapshoot? But Run Lola Run puts a wrench in this master plan. When a desperate Lola unleashes a blood-curddling wail in order to control a game of roulette, this woman warrior sends the ultimate fuck-you to the gods above.
- Tom Tykwer
- Tom Tykwer
- Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Herbert Knaup, Nina Petri, Armin Rohde, Joachim Krol, Ludger Pistor, Suzanne von Borsody
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