Tom Tykwer’s stunning and entertaining thriller Run Lola Run still holds up, and damn if it isn’t a fun watch. The film brought international attention not only to Tykwer but the film’s star, Franke Potente, who, four years later, would appear in the franchise opener, The Bourne Identity alongside Matt Damon.
Run Lola Run plays with concepts of time, love, fate, and the little clues life shows us along the way if only we’d pay attention to them.
Jampacked into an eighty-minute film, the story follows Lola (Potente) who receives a desperate call from her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) who informs her of a disastrous sequence of events that resulted in his losing one hundred thousand marks that he has to hand over to his boss, all part of a criminal enterprise.
If he doesn’t hand it over, he’s a dead man. He calls Lola for help.
They have twenty minutes.
She sets off at a run, driven by a techno beat to see her father (Herbert Knaup), who works in a bank, in hopes of getting the money from him, but he has his own secrets and life that are unfolding at the same time.
When things go drastically wrong, and she’s on the verge of death, things reset. We’ll see what she’s learned, as she clings to the belief that ‘love can do anything.’
The way the narrative unfolds, and the way the film is shot, you don’t question the changes in time and reality as Lola experiences the same sequence of events over and over, trying to come to a different conclusion that will see both her and Manni live through the day.
The driving techno score, the fun animated sequences, the sense of urgency and excitement that permeates each frame of the constantly moving camera, and actor. It’s just a fun ride.
The ticking clock, the way fate plays out as little things that seem meaningless grow to play important parts in Lola’s run, and the way the story is told.
We get glimpses of possible futures caused by interactions that happen along the way, giving us a multiverse movie before most viewers knew what that was, along with the realization that it just takes one bad decision to snowball into something terrible, or one good thing to make the reverse true.
It’s through the magic of storytelling that this film works as well as it does, through its casting, through the way it’s shot, everything, much like events in the film, was a wonderful confluence that elevated this film to classic status.
I can’t believe it took me so long to revisit it. I promise it won’t be so long between viewings this time.