Run Lola Run (1998)

Run Lola Run

Run Lola Run Review

Run Lola Run is a 1998 German thriller film directed by Tom Tykwer and starring Franka Potente and Moritz Bleibtreu. It is regarded as a modern classic of German cinema and it is a very good and authentic movie.

It follows a woman who needs to obtain 100,000 Deutsche Mark in twenty minutes in order to save her boyfriend’s life. That is a very basic and even too simplistic premise, but the cleverness of this movies lies in its approach and execution, not in the premise. It tells its story in real time and lasts for twenty minutes. However, that scenario is then repeated two more times, but with different outcomes. And that is such a unique and genius concept that is just phenomenally original and powerful to follow. You get that scenario repeated twice and thus it shows you how small details and little consequences can change someone’s life to a large degree and that is why I found the movie to be so smart and so riveting to watch. It is a perfect example of an original execution of a simple premise and it wonderfully revitalized the thriller genre.

The characters are good and even excellent for the genre, but still lacking. Both characters of Lola and Manni are very well realized and are so grounded and their relationship drives the movie. But even those two aren’t that well developed and the rest of the characters are not particularly well used. But I did like the approach of telling us the stories and lives of different characters she passes by on the street while running. It is achieved by a flash of photographs and that is such an authentic storytelling device and I wished that there was more of that in the end product.

Run Lola Run is phenomenally directed by Tom Tykwer and Mathilde Bonnefoy in particular did a stupendous job in the editing department as the movie is just perfectly edited with a fast pace that is thrilling rather than tiring and it is just always wonderfully energetic and riveting with very smooth transitions between the repeated scenarios. It also is really well shot with some excellent action sequences and the running of the main character never gets boring despite being repeated twice. The film is extremely smart and it is touching, but I wanted more emotional resonance as the script needed it. It has some memorable imagery, the dialogue is good. The characters do yell too much, but are still realistically depicted. And this is one of the most original and interesting films of the nineties without a doubt.

The only significant issue I’ve had with the film is definitely its score which is just so annoying. I get its appeal to some, but I strongly dislike violent music like that and although it does fit the genre and is intense, I wished for some more sophisticated and more pleasant intense music and that would have helped the movie a lot.

But the acting is simply fantastic. Moritz Bleibtreu did a really good job in his role, but it is Franka Potente who is absolutely phenomenal. She gave a wonderful performance in a difficult role and she stole every scene she was in and she executed both the action and the more emotional and dramatic sequences rather well. The whole movie is so professional, both in its storytelling department and visually, but especially in its directing, acting and editing. I just wanted more on the emotional and character side and I wanted better music. If it had that, it would have been a classic, but it just ended up being a really good movie with a lost potential for greatness.

Run Lola Run truly is an authentic movie. It has absolutely amazing storytelling which is so creative and unique, it wonderfully executes a simple premise with an original approach, but it is the best in its directing, acting and especially editing as it is so beautifully fast paced and just riveting and always fascinating to follow. It has its flaws mainly in its character development which should have been better, the emotional resonance which should have been bigger and the score which is annoying, but it is above all an authentic take on the thriller genre with a style to spare and it is one of the most unique movies of the nineties.

My Rating – 4


      Interior & Exterior Stills from Run Lola Run

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Posted in 1990s, 1998, Foreign, German, MOVIE REVIEWS, Thriller and tagged , , , .

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