Run Lola Run (1998)

Time is a funny thing, something we can’t stop and the decisions we make can’t be changed. We may look back in hindsight and know we should have made a different choice, but at the time it seemed like the best one. Relatively small things can have big consequences and I know for a fact my life would have been very different had my first job been somewhere else. I would not have met some of my friends who shaped me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t have met specific people, did the sports I did and love the kind of music I do now. This movie looks at how those small changes can have a huge impact on the lives of its characters and explores the possibilities. Maybe not as grand as Mr.Nobody does, but the concept is very interesting.

The plot of this movie is a simple one: Lola gets a call from her boyfriend Manni who tells her that because she hasn’t picked him up like they agreed he will be killed. He has done a deal and needs to deliver 100.000 DM (around 50,000 dollars). He ask her if she can help him get that amount of money. The time she has for it? Only 20 minutes. So it’s up to Lola to come up with a plan to get her hands on that money and meet Manni in time.
The movie then shows 3 versions of the same run, with slight variations in decisions she makes and shows how different the outcome is.

The first time you have no idea what is going to happen, but as the second and third run take place you start comparing them, seeing what differences there are and how it affects not only Lola and Manni, but also everyone around them. It makes clear that our own decisions have an impact on other lives as well, which is something you might not always be aware of.

The movie itself has a lot of momentum and with lots of quick cuts there is never a dull moment. The pressure Lola is under also translates into the way the film is shown, the camera never lingers for too long. Run Lola Run is worth checking out as it shows a concept which has not been done a lot (besides Mr.Nobody the only other movie I can think of is Sliding Doors). It’s a product of its time (let’s say the “MTV effect”), but that really doesn’t matter as it is a great ride which impresses.

14 thoughts on “Run Lola Run (1998)

  1. Big fan of this film, I just think it’s so clever. Sure, it’s not exactly original any more but it probably was pretty unique when it came out. One of those that you can watch a few times and learn more each time. Great review Nostra.

  2. Massive fan of this film. Franka Potente is fantastic and the concept is so well executed. The animated interludes adds to the overall style of the film. Love it.

  3. Yeah I agree, this is a great film. Pure style and Franka Potente is magnetic. I especially love the parts when she runs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. I’m also a big fan of Run Lola Run and Tom Tykwer, though I haven’t seen some of his recent work like Cloud Atlas and Perfume. I enjoyed the device of showing what happens to some random characters after they encounter Lola and how it varies depending on what she does. It’s a cool concept, and the execution makes it more than just a trick. It’s been a few years since I’ve seen it, so it would be interesting to see how it holds up. Nice review!

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