After all that running, Lola had better be in shape. Indeed, relatively unknown German filmmaker Tom Tykwer has put this film through such an exhaustive workout that not only is it in tip top condition for viewing, it'll leave you a little out of breath when it's over.
A simple Rashomon meets Go tale of a lost sack of cash and twenty minutes to find 100,000 Deutsche Marks to replace it, Run Lola Run (aka Lola Rennt) follows Lola (Potente), the girlfriend of a hapless guy, Manni (Bleibtreu), a low-down on the organized crime totem pole. When Manni foolishly leaves said cash on the subway, Lola figures it's up to her to fix the situation before Manni does something even more stupid in the next 20 minutes, before the appointed time for the money drop.
So she runs. And how. Hatching a plan to beg her banker father for the money, she crisscrosses Berlin on foot. The genius of Lola is not the story, though. In fact, the plot is pretty simplistic. It's Tykwer's use of diverting story lines and clever devices for tying up loose threads that keep you in constant suspense and curiosity about what he'll do next.
Eventually, the 20 minutes run out, and through a force of will (of sorts), Lola rewinds the clock and plays the scene out again and again - each time with different consequences. It's a clever thesis on the age-old notion that minuscule differences in the way we act at a certain point in time could have overwhelming consequences down the road.
For intellectuals, it's a thrilling exercise. For action- and visual-lovers, it's pure eye candy.
In German, with English subtitles.
Aka Lola rennt.
Ich liebe Lola.