Director : Tom Tykwer
With : Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreau, Herbert Knaup
Kind of like a really innovative music video, rewound and then slightly altered three different times, the ultra-hyped “Run Lola Run” does in fact manage to justify most of the hype by capitalizing on a true multimedia uniqueness. Like “Sliding Doors” or maybe even a bit like “Groundhog Day” before it, “Run Lola Run” tells story the same three times but with three entirely different outcomes.
After managing to loose the 100K in deutsche marks from a smuggling job, Manni calls his girlfriend Lola to help him come up with the money in the twenty minutes he has until the boss comes to collect. Three times we watch Lola drop the phone, sprint from her room, past her mother and rush down into the stairwell towards the street. At this point the film becomes a multimedia adventure, with her unforgettably dyed red hair Lola morphs into a cartoon, and bolts down the stairwell towards the street. All the while techno music paces Lola as she runs (and this is no Dustin Hoffman in “Marathon Man”) towards the bank where her father works. Striking 35mm shots of her moving through the German streets, with the pounding of drum’n’bass, and the movement of her scarlet hair keep the film alive in a way that most other films don’t even attempt.
Of course, the film pushes the envelope almost a bit too far, asking the audience to sit through the set-up three times before getting to the critical moment where the story takes the subtle turn. Mostly the film is a success because of the slick cinematography, clever editing and fusion of video, film and animation. There are some wonderful moments in the film, but they have nothing to do with plot, acting or dialogue- they have everything to do with the tightness and creativity of the visual shots.
During one scene a firetruck goes crashing through a street-lengthed piece of glass and the impact is slowed to a nearly motionless halt where the glass just seems to gently cascade to the ground. Time and objects are manipulated throughout the movie creating a real suspension of reality and tactile life as we know it. “Run Lola Run” is a clever, original idea for a movie. Props to both Lola, who seems to be running for almost her entire screen time, and debut director Tom Tykwer for creating the first in what I’m sure will be a new genre of interactive film.