Run Lola Run is an extraordinary film. Is life fate? Do split second choices matter? and do they actually change anything? Run Lola Run explores these questions….. MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD Franka Potente (The Bourne Identity) plays Lola. She and boyfriend Manni are in trouble after a job for a gang and having the money stolen before they could hand it over. Now they have to come up with 100,000 Deutche Marks in twenty minutes, to give to the gang chief.
All is progressing smoothly as Lola runs through the streets to get to Manni before the gang chiefs do, and before he takes matters into his own hands. On her way she meets, in passing, several members of the public, some of whom help her.
She gets there just too late. Manni decides to hold up a supermarket just as Lola rounds the corner. They are both surrounded by police.
This should be the end, but we are only 20 minutes into the film. The rest of the film is a replaying of the same 20 minute episode, with subtle differences. Sometimes the differences are as simple as the time it takes to run somewhere – but the split second affects an important change. Each of the differences affects a choice that Lola has to make along the way, which subsequently effect the end scene.
For Lola and Manni, The ultimate goal is love… to be able to spend their time with each other, the one they love. Salvation, then, comes by getting to the end unscathed so they can enjoy the rest of their life together. There is a clear concept of sin in the how this is worked out, and its effect on the ending. However, sin is also demonstrated by the dysfunctional relationships amongst the other memebers of Lola’s family, who show up in each of the repeated stories. The split second differences in the repeated narratives also mark important changes for them.
So what is the film saying? Is life fate? I don’t think it is saying that life is predetermined as Lola is seen excersising choices, different choices depending on the particular circumstances. Her choices do matter, and they dramatically affect the outcome. However, there is a sense that by doing things ‘the right way’, and with a bit of luck, the right ending will come about. It does seem to be tied to Lola and Manni’s behaviour in the 20 minute episode.
Thoroughly recomended. An excellent, fast-paced, quirky, thought provoking film.