Run Lola Run: Movie Review

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Run Lola Run ([Lola Rennte] (Tykwer 1998)) is described as ‘a German crime film that deals with a range of themes such as fate, love, chance and desire (Goodman, A. 2012)’. The film reflects a complex narrative, acting as one of the pillars for the era that broke out of the normal bounds of storytelling and pushed it to the edge. It’s anachronies, forking paths, and its ‘thumping techno soundtrack’ (Staunton, D. 1999) was positively received by its German audience in 1998, making it a smashing success and seen as one of the most popular movies of its time. It was no surprise that ‘the film recouped its DM3 million budget during its first weekend on release in Germany’ (Staunton, D. 1999) and continues to amaze audiences 22 years later. In this essay I will explore how the use of the objective narration, anachronies, visual motifs and the editing all come together to create this successful complex narrative.

The film begins with an elusive opening sequence seemingly providing us with no information regarding the protagonists of the film itself. (Derbyshire, Lee, Naylor, 2012). In the opening of the film, a uniformed man, later revealed as the security guard at the bank, utters, “The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. That’s a fact. Everything else is pure theory.” This highlights the nature of the film. In this film our concept of time is played with, our understanding of linear narratives is challenged, our minds are racing with possibilities and outcomes, accepting unanswered ‘super powers’ that Lola has. ‘With Lola, you are invited to join something that seems easy to join, it’s like playing a game’ (Tykwer, T. 1999). The animated title sequence furthers this idea, reflecting a style that would be seen in a Nintendo 64 or a PlayStation and elevating it to cinema. As well as alluding to the unanswered questions within the film such as Lola screaming and breaking glass or how her memories were weaved together in all the flashbacks. The film as a whole hinges on this idea of ‘pure theory’. Bordwell says ‘Narratives are built upon not philosophy or physics but… the ordinary processes we use to make sense of the world. (Bordwell. D, 2007) The audience has been given the chance to weave together our understanding of the plot through this complex narrative, challenging us to delve into our minds for our own explanations and find the connections from the very opening to the very end.

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