Lola Rennt (or Run Lola, run) starts of with a phonecall: Manni, a small time crook, explains to his girlfriend Lola, that he has just lost 100.000 German Mark (50.000€) and that he needs to hand the money over to his felonious boss in 20 minutes or else he’ll surely die. And then the frantic race begins… While Lola runs to her fathers workplace, she keeps on thinking about Manni’s last words… that if she can’t raise the money in 20 minutes, he will rob a supermarket.
In what follows, Lola gets confronted with one obstacle after another, and rides an emotional roller coaster in her high-speed efforts to help her boyfriend Manni. At first, she attempts to extract the cash from her cheating father (appropriately a bank manager), and then by any means necessary. From this point on, nothing goes right for either of the protagonists, but just when you think you’ve figured out the movie, the director introduces a series of brilliant existential twists that that tangles the mind.
The treachery of the movie lies in the ‘Sliding Doors’ concept of the storyline. Lola’s race against time is told in three ways, events unfolding differently depending on how long it takes her to get down the stairs of her apartment building. But does each of the three ways lead to another ending? Let’s keep that a secret, shall we.
In Lola rennt, writer/director Tom Tykwer uses rapid camera movements and innovative pauses to enhance the central theme of cause and effect. Furthermore, by making ample use of split screens, cartoon sequences and other camera tricks, Tykwer succeeds in creating a captivating movie that grabs you by the throat and doesn’t let go ‘till the end. Very inovative, catchy and enjoyable are the flashes of Polaroid pictures the director throws at you of persons Lola encounters. They too corroberate the cause and effect element of the story. Yet despite its daring structure and speed, the story and dialogue stays easy to follow and comprehensible, which one cannot say of all experimental low-budget movies.
Sound and Vision:
The picture is of very good quality: vibrant colours (Lola’s hair!), nice contrast, no aliasing and nearly no grain. Some clearly visible interlacing here and there, but not too much. One scene still bothers me though… the scene where Lola’s father talks with his secretary in front of a bright window. The lighting was very very bad. But I can’t determine whether this was on purpose or not, it’s borderline.
One of the best features of this movie is it’s sound. It’s superb. Tykwer took care of a vibrant techno-soundtrack that fits the story perfect. All sounds are crispy-clear and all details can be heard. But what is especially nice is if you have a nice big subwoofer … during the more quiet scenes, the bassline is audible, and it gradually starts to build up in the background, until it suddenly kicks in at full blast while Lola runs off again.
None, a pity, but the movie is good enough to own anyway.
In conclusion, Lola rennt is a phenomal parable of cause and effect, drenched with all kinds of symbolism (e.g. the casinoscene – the roulette). The concept is refreshing, the mise-en-scene is innovative and the soundtrack is absolutely perfect. Unfortunatly, the movie is so good, it seems as you’ve only been watching for 20 minutes.