Monday, February 11, 2013

Run Lola Run (1998)

Run Lola Run

Run, Lola! Run! She ran for like 3/4 parts of the duration and she should have burnt much calories. Haha. “Run Lola Run” is a Germany movie by Tom Tykwer, yet it’s more than just a movie of a girl named Lola who ran to reach something. I’d like to call it an out-of-ordinary movie, because it contains three parallel plots going in their own ways, and is served in a very dynamic presentation with a bunch of transition (even with an animation). It may seems untidy, but it is undoubtedly different from any other movies. Clocking for only 81 minutes, “Run Lola Run” will make you as exhausted and sweaty as the non-stop running Lola.

So, who is this Lola and why should she runs? Okay. In “Run Lola Run”, Lola (played by Franka Potente) is a red-haired girl who received a call from her boyfriend, Manni (played by Moritz Bleibtreu). Manni lost 100,000 DM (Deutsche Mark) from the transaction he did for his boss, and he knew he is going to be killed by the gang because of this accident. He has 20 minutes to gain back the money before his boss meets him, and while he is about to rob a supermarket to get the money, Lola comes (by running!) to help him getting 100,000 DM back.

Run Lola Run

We’ll have an all-animation opening credit, a quite philosophical yet meaningless opening scene, and a very brief introduction. We got a clear information about what’s going on in the first ten minutes, and the rest of the movie is about how both Lola and Manni maximize their chance to get 100,000 DM in just 20 minutes. Then, why could “Run Lola Run” be lengthen to a 81-minute duration? The answer is in how Tykwer as both the director and screenwriter examined this seemingly simple story into a very out-of-the-box presentation. This 20-minute run-of-the-mill story will be expanded into three different timelines, regarding to different choices of a “what if” question in the beginning. A very slightly different choice in the first place will end up as a totally significant effect to the ending, and in this case, Lola is the main player of this causality game. So, if in the beginning Lola did A, she will get X, but if she did B, she will get Y. This is how we put our mind to understand “Run Lola Run”, because—although the story itself is a bit interesting—the jumping scene of one timeline to another timeline may confuse viewers and finally, make viewers do not understand what exactly this movie is all about. It could be either a plus or minus point, because there is no clear information of in what timeline the real occurrence took place. I love the transition of every timeline (it’s simple and smooth), but right after finished watching it, I couldn’t make up my mind of what really happened to Lola and Manni. It lost its sense of reality. Tykwer seems eagerly wanted to make “Run Lola Run” have a philosophical layer inside, but to be honest, this flick is way too dynamic and experimental to be excluded as just another easy entertainment.

This “ambition” could be clearly seen by how Tykwer put many backing supports to the main story. See how he put montages of brief “future events” of every person Lola meets in her running. These montages will always be different in every timeline (although each montage belongs to the same person), like telling us that every timeline happens in a parallel world or something. For me, this method has nothing to do with the whole story and finally, it makes “Run Lola Run” looks so pretentious. Lola with her red-hair (it musts be a metaphor of something, but I don’t get what it means) and her minimalist outfit (she musts have prepared to run, haha) may be somewhat iconic, although I don’t see a good characterization of her. For the record, Potente didn’t wash her hair during the shooting because the hair color will easily be discolored by water, and it’s a... good effort, haha. Well, Moritz Bleibtreu played a good role as such a nice bad-guy like Manni, although in some parts he looks weak, even weaker than his girlfriend. I appreciate how Tykwer pour a bunch of dynamic transitions and animations in this flick, but there is a kind of “dum-dum-tss-dum-dum-tss” background music playing all along, making me sick. I’d prefer a song with a good lyric instead just a instrumental song like that (like what Tykwer put in one scene).

Run Lola Run

Finally, I think “Run Lola Run” is a very experimental movie that tries (so hard) to combine creative presentation and layered, multi-timeline story. It didn’t work out, unfortunately, and at last it feels too much. The story itself is actually a good thing, and Tykwer did a nice innovation to maximize his work from just being a movie of a girl running for something. It’s perhaps only 81 minutes, but it feels tiring and long because what we will see is, actually, three Lola in three parallel timeline doing one and only thing: running.



Run Lola Run3.5 out of 5 stars

 ▲  Creative presentation, nice multi-timeline story
 ▼  Feels so pretentious that it lost its sense of reality

RUN LOLA RUN | ORIGINAL TITLE Lola Rennt COUNTRY Germany YEAR 1998 RATING Rated R for some violence and language RUNTIME 81 min GENRE Action, Thriller CAST Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu, Ludger Pistor, Armin Rohde, Herbert Knaup WRITER Tom Tykwer DIRECTOR Tom Tykwer IMDB RATING 7.8/10 METACRITIC 77/100 (Generally Favorable) ROTTEN TOMATOES 93% (Certified Fresh) MORE INFO


7 comments:

  1. How I've been wanting to watch this film....padahal punya file nya tapi gak pernah ditonton :p dari reviewnya kayaknya tekniknya kurang oke yaa, padahal gw malah penasaran sama alurnya haha

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    1. *i'm imagining how much films you have in your disks*
      haha. ga tau sih, gw suka sama gaya penceritaannya, tapi dari presentasinya menurut gw agak berlebihan, jadi ga match aja antara keduanya.

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    2. external HD aja ampe penuh :p gw itu kebanyakan download, nntnnya yg jarang2 wkwk

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  2. I loved Run, Lola, Run. To me there's a valuable lesson in it, that there are things that can never be changed no matter how hard you tried. But yes somewhere between the running, it felt too much. I do love the concept. Nice review!

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    1. Yes, there's a value in this movie. Thank you!

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  3. Thanks for the thoughtful review. I've seen the movie years ago and remember I liked it very much but I was glad it wasn't a 2 hrs film.

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    1. Haha, if it was 2 hour, we might have burnt as much calories as Lola. Thanks for your comment.

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