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Run Lola Run
picture from Run Lola Run 9 out of 109 out of 109 out of 109 out of 109 out of 10
Rated: R
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Current Voter Rating: 8.064 (389 votes)
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Run Lola Run is a German film which came out back in 1998. I believe it made its American debut in 1999, but I did not get a chance to see it until recently (2002). To be honest, I had never even heard of this movie until some of my friends at work started talking about it. First it was one person, then another and another who had seen it. Slowly the chorus of recommendations began to build. With that kind of buzz around the office, and with my reputation as a movie critic, the pressure began mounting for me to see this movie. It was not until my friend, John, physically handed me a copy that I actually got around to seeing it.

Before I even opened the case to the DVD, I thought to myself that this movie might be worth recommending just by the picture of the red-haired girl on the cover. That girl (Franka Potente) turned out to be the main character, Lola, who as you might expect does a lot of running in this movie. She is running, to answer the question which is no doubt in your mind, to save the life of her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) who lets her know in a frantic telephone call that unless he can come up with 100000 DM by noon that he will be killed by a local crime boss. Her love for Manni is obvious and touching, and her desperation rubs off on us as we watch her run through the streets of town to save him.

picture from Run Lola Run

The film has a kind of renegade feel to it, because we are meant to sympathize with its main characters who are not exactly law-abiding citizens. However, the film's point is not to glorify or to condemn crime but to explore the possibilities and plausibilities of how a tiny and seemingly insignificant event can significantly alter the course of people's lives. Writer and Director Tom Tykwer creates for us three sets of events which all begin at the same point in space and time (the frantic phone call from Manni to Lola) and involve the same set of characters. However, from this same beginning we find three radically different outcomes, all brought about by the most trivial of events (such as a brief stumble on the sidewalk).

This film is fascinating because of how it gets to you think deep and intricate thoughts about the possibilities and the frailties of life. This film is exciting because of the critical and frenzied nature of the situation; the clock is ticking and Manni's life is on the line. The film is different because of its German feel and its unorthodox movie-making (such as briefly animating Lola during part of her run, or a couple of scenes which feature her high-pitched screaming). And this film is amusing because we get to watch the same characters go through similar yet very different experiences three times in a row. This latter point reminded me of the hilarious movie, Groundhog Day, starring Bill Murray; however, Run Lola Run is not meant to be a comedy and has something of an edge to it.

picture from Run Lola Run

Separating the three sections to this movie are two relatively brief bedroom scenes (and no, it does not involve sex, which may disappoint or relieve you, depending upon your disposition, or perhaps depending upon seemingly insignificant events in your life). These scenes were very entertaining because they focused on insecurities in relationships from the point of view of both genders. They were also entertaining because of their familiarity; I would expect that anyone who has been in a serious relationship has participated in conversations like these.

I whole-heartedly recommend this movie. Not just the ideas brought forth in the script but also the fact that it is a foreign film is good for us, I think, to broaden our minds and our perspectives. And its German origin brings up another recommendation, and that is to watch this movie in German with subtitles rather than listening to dubbed voices (of course, if you happen to speak German, then by all means watch it in its native form). The reason for this is that dubbing is always awkward, and you lose the expression and acting quality from the voice-over speakers.

thumbs up!Sometimes the best things in life are found in the most unexpected of places. See this movie; you'll be glad you did. And besides, you've gotta like Lola's hair!

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So far, the average rating for Run Lola Run is: 8.064 (389 votes)

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