Run Lola Run
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Run Lola Run

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Many people seem to have the idea that German cinema is flat, existential and overly dramatic. Run Lola Run dispels this myth in a fast pace, hyper kinetic style that rivets you to the screen. The story is very simple but it is the telling that makes this movie. Lola’s boyfriend collected 100,000 marks (translated to dollars in the dubbed version) that he looses to a bum in a train. He calls Lola in desperation, informing her that he has to come up with the money in twenty minutes or the criminal will surely kill him. Lola runs from her home desperate to help her boy friend in some unknown manner. Within the 81 minutes of the film the story is retold three times. Each time a slight difference has profound affects on not only Lola and her boyfriend Manni but also in many of the characters she passes and interacts with. The moment f change is done in an extremely imaginative way. On her way out of her home, Lola passes her mother who is watching TV. On the TV screen there is an animation of Lola running down the stairs pass a man with a vicious dog. Each time passing the dog Lola does something different and the course of the events is changed. One time she helps Manni rob a supermarket, the next she robs her father’s bank and the third she wins the money at roulette. Each time through the story you watch with a fresh appreciation for the talent involved with this film.

Franka Potente plays Lola. A young woman with bright red/orange hair, tattoos and eyes that tell a story by themselves. Moritz Bleibtreu as Manni is well cast. He brings a sense of despair to the role necessary to carry the story along. There are also a couple of tender moments between these two characters set before the main story. This defines the movie since it shows the love the couple feels towards each other.

The real star of this film is the writer/director Tom Tykwer. His use of cinematography, lighting, animation and various other effects maintains an almost impossible pace. What could have turned out as a 81 minute MTV video is transformed into a movie with style. He pays attention to the smallest detail in each of the three tellings of this tale. The use of so many camera tricks might annoy the viewer but here Tykwer expresses his imagination in a fashion that is use plain old interesting.

The DVD is fantastic. The sound is Dolby 5.1 and it pounds through all six speakers enfolding you in the action. The sub woofer is often over used in films like this but here the .1 channel punctuates the action with a pounding bass line or a heart beat racing along with Lola. German and English 2.0 and 5.1 versions are present along with sub titles. This provides any foreign film lovers favorite way to watch and listen. The anamorphic video transfer is without flaw. The best feature is the commentary, which takes the form of a discussion of the film between Potente and Tykwer. The both add excellent insight into this visually complex film. For those that enjoy cinema at it’s peak, take a run with Lola.

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