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Run Lola Run is a German film by the director Tom Tykwer. And it's considered by some to be 81 minutes of 'pure class'.
The film is about 20 minutes in the life of a gangster's courier, Mannie, and his girlfriend, Lola. The scene is set by a frantic telephone conversation between the two. Lola has had her moped stolen, and was late for a rendezvous with Mannie. Mannie, with the gangster's money, sets off alone. On the way to meet the gangster the police get on the same train, Mannie sees them, panics, gets off the train... but leaves the money behind. A mental bagman picks the bag up and this is where the problems begin. Mannie needs 100,000 Deutschmarks to replace those he lost. He threatens to rob a grocery store, but Lola says that she will help him.
The rest of the film is then taken up by Lola running to her father at the Deutch Bank, to get the money, and the subsequent race to get to Mannie before 12 o'clock. However, the film shows the same run, with subtle differences, three times. Like a better form of Groundhog Day, when it goes wrong, Lola gets the chance to do it again.
The film is very stylishly shot, not only showing how subtle differences affect the outcome for the main characters and the story line, but also incidental characters. In the three chances that Lola has she passes the same few characters over and again, each of the character's futures are mapped out in a quick series of still photographs - the slight changes in Lola's run seemingly wringing massive changes in the character's respective futures. However, it's the changes in the main characters stories that emphasize the subtle spiral of causality. Mr Myers and his car being the most obvious, showing that timing is everything1.
The soundtrack is spot on, a suburb thumping beat that fits beautifully in with the run, building tension and keeping the atmosphere on a knife's edge. It may give the film a music video tinge, but the plot and the characters quickly take one's mind away from that.
The film itself contains some unforseen twists, and audiences in cinemas have generally been very appreciative. In fact, one h2g2 Researcher reported a UK audience coming perilously close to cheering and clapping actually in the cinema, which would be a first, and which undoubtedly says a lot about the film itself.