“What happened to you? Did you run here?”: ‘Run Lola Run’ Review
Fate is one of the time travels’ most consistent and thought-provoking themes; often being incorporated in the story to explore character relationships and arcs. Fate also happens to be one of the themes at the very forefront of writer/director Tom Tykwer’s exciting and groundbreaking Run Lola Run.
Tykwer’s film makes it clear right from the start that this isn’t your ordinary adventure but something much more experimental and dynamic. Incorporating animation, in its electrifying opening credits, and mixing a pulsating score Run Lola Run is a film that incorporates the ideas of time paradoxes brilliantly through incredibly savvy and complex filmmaking.
What starts out with a phone call from Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) to his girlfriend Lola (Franka Potente) asking her to deliver his money to a crime boss soon becomes a high-stakes thriller that incorporates elements of science fiction, time paradoxes, and mainly alternate realities. After the call, Lola sets out to deliver the money to the boss but instead of a normal fetch quest, Tykwer’s film pulls a rug from underneath the viewer’s feet and instead decides to explore how Lola’s decisions affect the outcome through multiple scenarios.
Tykwer’s film is a pure adrenaline rush that feels as innovative, stylish and beautifully thought-provoking as when it first made waves during the latter part of the 1990s decade. The film wouldn’t be as energetic and full of life if it weren’t for the brilliant performance that Franka Potente delivers. As Lola, she creates this thoroughly strong and self-resourceful character that will stop at nothing to fulfill her objective and triumph against all odds, even if those odds are a lot of times against her and trying to stop her at all costs no matter what.
Fate. Alternate circumstances and literally running for your life all collide in Tykwer’s extraordinary work. At a brisk 80 minutes, the film never loses the audience’s attention and it never let's go. Tykwer’s whole mentality during Run Lola Run seems to be that of always moving forward and never looking back and the film adheres to that philosophy beautifully with linear storytelling that is all about moving forward and reaching your destination.
One of the most fascinating aspects about Run Lola Run is how it incorporates its ideas of fate and circumstance. Lola’s outcomes ultimately affect her results and that affects the storytelling. It’s a genius conceit that keeps Tykwer’s storytelling fresh and unique while even incorporating a philosophically engaging storyline that keeps the audience’s minds glued to the screen.
With stunning, frantic cinematography by Frank Griebe and an unforgettable pulsating score by Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold Heil; Run Lola Run is a colorful and smart thriller that manages to be the best of both worlds: smart and thrilling. Whether it’s the powerful love story at its core (which is wonderfully realized with a ton of heart by Potente and Bleibtreu) or its mind-bending ideas, Run Lola Run remains romantic, exciting and full of smart and thrilling ideas.