A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Run Lola Run

October 19, 2010

Run Lola Run

The first time I saw this movie I was profoundly drunk. I was spending the night with Dan and Gary from TLA. This was during a dark period in my life and I had a problem with binge drinking. Anyhow, in my addled state this movie got right inside my head and set up shop. I remember taking feverish notes on the top of a pizza box. I am told that I was ranting in German (which is odd in light of the fact that I do not speak German at all.)

I have seen the movie many more times since that night, and it is among my favorite films. I’d like to believe that this is because there is so much about this film that appeals to my particular likes and not because of my altered mindset when I first experienced it. This movie touches upon that notion of being able to influence the world around you which I talked about in my Dark City review. It deals a lot with notions of chaos theory and how the smallest changes in how we interact with people can have vastly different effects on how our lives play out. It has a fantastic, throbbing techno beat that runs through almost the entire film and brings me right into the desperation of Lola’s run. And it is absolutely filled with cool camera tricks and nifty editing – it’s a film like yesterday’s that has it’s own visual language a lot of the time, but it’s more consistant and better handled.

The story told in this movie is exceptionally simple. Lola’s boyfriend Manni has gotten himself into trouble by losing a plastic bag with 100,000 Deutschmarks that he needs to pay to a crime lord he is working for. He misplaced the bag on a subway train and now he’s afraid that if he doesn’t have the money in twenty minutes he’s going to be killed. So Lola has twenty minutes to get the money and meet Manni or else. That’s pretty much the entire plot. The rest of the movie is just seeing it play out.

But there’s so much more to the movie than just that. I don’t think that I can really capture in words just what this movie is able to accomplish. It’s a driven film. Writer/Director Tom Tykwer takes this simple idea and expands on it, playing Lola’s quest like a modern fugue. There’s a common theme that runs though the film, but then there are variations on it. The whole movie is a work of chaotic art and full of little details that need to be examined several times to really sink in. (Or maybe it’s just that I was so very drunk that first time.) There’s the pumping techno beat that drives it, but there’s also a kind of rough feel to the filming and editing itself. Tykwer drives the camera like a madman. It’s always circling, soaring, dashing. Every once in a while there’s a pause – as if to catch your breath – but there’s a tension even to the slower scenes. Then it’s off again into the mad rush, only with some slight changes that alter the entire fabric.

I mentioned when we reviewed the Bourne movies how happy I was then to see Franka Potente. She’s a pretty powerful actress and this whole movie hangs on your being able to feel her panic and her desperation. The spirit that Franka brings to Lola is touching and liberating. Manni derides Lola at the start of the film for believing that love can solve anything. The whole movie is about proving him wrong – that Lola’s determination can overcome any obstacle and that for her love and by her will she is able to alter the very laws of probability and nature.

Just the opening of this movie, when the beat gets going and you see some of the characters that Lola will interact with in a milling crowd of teaming humanity gives me chills. Every time I watch this film feels like a new adventure for me, and even after more than ten years since this came out I haven’t seen any other movie that has this kind of pace, this kind of drive, this kind of edge. It’s a brilliantly crafted piece that blows me away all over again every time I see it – and I’m stone cold sober as I say that now.

October 19, 2010 - Posted by | daily reviews | , , , , , ,

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