Filmed in brilliant colors dominated by reds and yellows, and set to a restless, rhythmic musical beat, the movie rushes as desperately as the time frame within it.

RUN LOLA RUN

A Illusion review by Joan Ellis.


Run Lola Run is an extremely clever concoction that explodes in an escalating series of interlocking visual tricks from the wily mind of German writer/director Tom Tykwer. As Mr. Tykwer piles one imaginative turn upon another, we begin to laugh in appreciation of his ingenuity and timing. What is so unexpected is that this seemingly serious story races along with a merry heart.

Three different journeys begin and end in the same place. Common premise: Lola's boyfriend, Manni (Herbert Knaup), will be killed by the Mob in twenty minutes if he doesn't pay his debt of 100,000 marks. Far across town Lola (Franka Potente) hurls the red telephone that brought the bad news into the air and races out to help Manni. With no help from Manni and no plan of her own, she knows only that she must get to him, that somehow the money will materialize-100,000 marks in twenty minutes.

Lola runs past landmarks that play different roles in each version of her journey. As they become familiar, you will anticipate the roles of the red telephone, the sheet of plate glass carried by men in yellow, the red ambulance, the cartoon red of Lola's hair. A split screen shows us exactly what Lola and Manni are doing at any given minute. Will he blow it? Will she fail? From what benevolent sky will this money rain down?

Filmed in brilliant colors dominated by reds and yellows, and set to a restless, rhythmic musical beat, the movie rushes as desperately as the time frame within it. As she runs relentlessly, Lola imagines the lives of the people she passes on the street. Under Mr. Tykwer's inspired attention, the tiniest details become pieces in the big puzzle he is building. The peripheral characters, introduced three times in the same manner, meet three new fates just as Lola and Manni do.

And still we rush. Here a green money bag, there a blue silk jacket, a yellow train-Lola and Manni creating, reacting, responding to Mr. Tykwer's ever-changing details. Ms. Potente is in perfect tune with her director. She manages to make her face quietly desperate as she tears through the obstacle course he has set for her. She leaves no doubt that she will succeed, though we can't imagine how.

Although the actors are fine in their roles, there is barely time for them to register in the chaos that seems random, but is actually the tightly controlled vision of Mr. Tykwer. He fits every single act and gesture into a perfect blueprint that he manipulates at the desperate pace of a runner on a savior's mission.

In Ms. Potente he has the perfect heroine. She is as obsessed with Lola's race as he is with the timing of the story he has written. This movie is his game, a sustained fireworks finale that never fizzles for a moment.


Film Critic : JOAN ELLIS
Word Count : 489
Studio : Sony Pictures Classics
Rating : NR, in German with English subtitles
Running time : 1h21m


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