Montreal Film Journal


Once in a while comes a film so original and refreshing that it gives you hope in cinema again despite the countless crap movies that are also produced. "Lola Rennt", an amazingly dynamic German flick, is one of them. It stars Franka Potente as redheaded Lola, a young woman who gets a unsettling call from her hoodlum boyfriend Manni who tells he just lost the 100 000 marks he made during a score. the problem is that he's supposed to give the cash to his ill-tempered boss at noon, or he'll surely get killed. So Lola has 20 minutes to find the money: she's in for the run of her life!

Basically, the plot is the mean for writer-director Tom Tykwer to experiment with storytelling and filmmaking techniques to create a bold new kind of movie. You won't believe how energetic, stylish and innovative this movie is! It blends film with animation, stills, video, color and black&white, and all kinds of nifty visual tricks are thrown in, making this real eye ecstasy. The film is scored with pounding techno music, which makes it even more upbeat and exciting. But just technical prowess wouldn't be that rewarding. Fortunately, Tykwer's script is funny, edgy and even thought-provoking. Lola's run is shown in three different variations, as if to show that every little decision and event in life has repercussions upon everything. Hence, the film's gallery of colorful characters have different fates depending of what Lola does in these 20 minutes. It somehow reminds of the philosopher who affirmed that a butterfly flipping his wings in China sets off a tornado in America. The film also brings up questions about whether we should believe anything, and if so, how can we be sure we're right?

Run Lola Run is definitively not your usual picture. It's action-packed, smart, funny, hip and even sincerely moving sometimes. It has got everything a movie should have, and it has he good sense of going at full throttle for 80 minutes and then stop before you can catch your breath. Tykwer's film is more alive in any given minute than many movies are in their whole length. Some will dismiss it as being just an exercise in style. You bet it is, and it's a spectacular one!