Tom Tykwer’s Lola Rennt (Run, Lola, Run in english) is a gimmicky thriller.
The gimmick becomes apparent pretty quickly – the film is not a direct line from A to B, but covers multiple rounds through the same plot. Rounds with subtle differences in them. But unlike, say, Groundhog Day, where the protagonist learns to optimize his way through the day, Lola appears to have no clue what has gone on before. Lola runs into plenty of people in her twenty minutes, and the encounters fruits are shown in quick flash-forwards embedded in the film.
Franka Potente plays Lola with gusto. As it is a very physical role, there isn’t much to convey about who Lola is and what she is all about. In this film the protagonist runs and has encounters, that’s pretty much it.
For a debut movie, Lola Rennt gets a huge thumbs-up. The pace is relentless, the editing spot-on, and altogether the film has been distilled to its essence.
Berlin, the city the film happens in, is now in somewhat different shape than back in 1998. But it strays away from the biggest tourist attractions and changed areas, and thus provides a pretty good view into what the city is like just a corner or four away from Unter den Linden.
It’s not for everybody, but recommended for all. After all, it’s a short one and has two pretty natural spots where to abandon ship if the action gets incomprehensible.