Run Lola Run (Lola Rennt)

A rewatch for my course as we move on to the subject of narrative. Tom Tykwer’s late-90s German thriller is most notable for two things: first the energetic performance by red-haired Franka Potente (Lola), who spends much of the film charging through Berlin while techno pounds on the soundtrack – little wonder she was picked for the first Bourne film as a result – and secondly the unusual structure, which tells the same story three times but with slight differences each time that affect the outcome (and indeed the future lives of incidental characters Lola interacts with, which we glimpse through witty photo montages). One interesting point to consider: do you feel like you’ve been offered three different endings to choose from after watching Run Lola Run, or does the position of the third story after the others, and at the end of the film, make it ‘definitive’?

And a couple of interesting facts: the voiceover at the beginning is by a German broadcaster who is closely associated with fairy tales, which is an interesting way of reading the movie, and also it features Sebastian Schipper; he made another running-around-Berlin movie last year with Victoria, and plays the guy who repeatedly tries to sell Lola a stolen bike in this movie. Anyway, Run Lola Run is fun and fizzy, it gets its geography right (apparently) and it’s just an all-round good watch. (***½)