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BigSPEEGS Goes to the Movies
Run Lola Run

BigSPEEGS rates this film:



When describing the infamous shower scene in his legendary "Psycho", Alfred Hitchcock denied that the audience was so horrified because of the story or that the main character was in trouble, but were excited by "pure film". Hitchcock knew that cinema is a truly unique way to stir excitement and express artistic intent. Also, when one has so much to play around with, so many ways to get the audience riled up, why settle for the norm? Why not take advantage of all film has to offer? Tom Tykwers "Run Lola Run" is a perfect example of "pure film", a frenetic journey that is nothing short of brilliant entertainment.

After the refreshingly original opening credits, we meet Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), a man in a bit of trouble with the mob. He needs 100,000 marks and fast; 20 minutes to be exact. So, his girlfriend Lola (Franka Potente), who's had enough of his whining, runs off to try to get the money before the clock strikes 12. Go Lola!

So what's so special about that? In case you hadn't already figured it out, 20 minutes isn't exactly enough to fill a full-legnth feature film. But never you worry, director/writer Tom Tykwer thought of this in advance. We are treated to not one, not two, but three versions of this story, exploring all (or most) of the possible ways that this situation could have played out. This works surprisingly well. I never got tired of the concept, and by the end, I wanted to go back and see the whole thing over again.

"Run Lola Run" plays like an hour and a half music video. The only rule Tykwer followed while making this film is there are no rules. With this kind of freedom, the film really pulls out all the stops. The fusing of so many different techniques, from regular film to digital video to animation, pays off in an explosive way. One thing I was particularly impressed with was that whenever Lola would run past someone on the street (who in any other movie would just be extras), we see a split-second flash forward detailing how the rest of their lives will play out. It really gives one something to think about; how much do little things impact the rest of our lives? For example, if Lola runs past an older lady with a stroller, that lady may win the lottery. If Lola bumps into her, she may be deported.

Going into this type of movie, one doesn't really expect much from the performances. More or less, the acting is what it should be and nothing more. The actors fit into their roles well and don't really participate in any explosive melodrama, which works much for the benefit of the film. However, Franka Potente is something else. She does more than act; she inhabits Lola. She shapes Lola into an action movie icon, someone we can root and get excited for as she tries to get from place A to B three times. Lola is more than an everyday heroine; she is a unique character who has depth and many quirky traits (including that weird banshee scream).

Unfortunately, between each 20-minute segment, the film does slow down a little. Between each segment we get parts of a scene of Lola and Manni together discussing how the other would get along if something happened to one of them. These scenes are designed to add some intimacy and irony to the outcomes of each scenario, but in the middle of so much energetic chaos, all they really does is slow the film down.

But that is just a trivial nitpick in the midst of so many delights. "Run Lola Run" is nothing short of exhilarating. It's the kind of movie where a billion random ideas can come and form one coherent piece. Finally, we get a movie that's a lot of fun and doesn't require you to leave your brain at the door. "Run Lola Run" is the kind of experience that can only be found in the movies.



Franka Potente .... Lola
Moritz Bleibtreu .... Manni
Herbert Knaup .... Lolas Vater
Nina Petri .... Jutta Hansen
Armin Rohde .... Herr Schuster
Joachim Krl .... Norbert von Au
Ludger Pistor .... Herr Meier
Suzanne von Borsody .... Frau Jger
Sebastian Schipper .... Mike
Julia Lindig .... Doris
Lars Rudolph .... Kassierer Kruse
Andreas Petri .... Sanitter
Klaus Mller (I) .... Croupier
Utz Krause .... Casino-Manager
Beate Finckh .... Casino-Kassiererin

Running Time: 80 minutes

"Run Lola Run" is rated R for some violence and language.

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