The movie “Run Lola Run” was written and directed by Tom Tykwer and stars Franka Potente as Lola, who needs to acquire 100,000 marks in 20 minutes to save her boyfriend’s life. The German production company “X Filme” made this movie in 1998 and was released in America by Sony Pictures Classics. In the movie, Lola finds out about the situation that her boyfriend, Manni, has gotten into by a call he makes to her to explain how he lost 100,000 marks that belong to a mobster named Ronnie, who will kill him if the money isn”t there when he arrives.
Lola tells Manni to wait for her to get there and he tells her that if she isn”t there in twenty minutes that he is going to rob the grocery store to obtain the money and then he gets disconnected. Lola decides to beg her father, Papa, for the money to save Manni’s life and from here the story diverges into three potential futures. In all of the possible futures, we see Lola running and passing by the same people and places and each time something different happens to Lola and to the people around her.
The twenty-minute deadline and the alternate futures are the plot devices used by the movie to show the affect that one person and one moment can have on somebody’s life, no matter how insignificant the moment seems. Early in the film, Manni say to Lola, “Love can do anything. ” While this is clearly the explicit meaning of the movie, I believe that there is also an implicit meaning to the film, which is that the slightest moment can change the rest of your life, for better or for worse.
There is ample evidence to support both meanings of “Run Lola Run. The support for the explicit meaning of the movie lies in Lola’s intense love for Manni and the way she is willing to attempt to obtain the money to save his life. It is Manni’s mistake of leaving the money on the train that causes him to become a causal agent in this film, but it is Lola’s love for Manni that causes her to become a casual agent. She is motivated by her desire to save Manni’s life that she is willing to try to get the money and make it to him in time without any form of transportation other than her legs.
This is the biggest obstacle in the movie. As shown in the first possible future, when she cannot reach Manni in time to prevent him from robbing the store and it is her love for him that causes her to help in the robbery, which resulted in her death. In the second possibility, she overcomes the counterforce of her father, who appears to not even care for her, by robbing the bank he works at. She is able to get away with it at the time because the police don”t think that she is the thief when she exits the bank and she is able to walk away from it.
The problem is that everyone in the bank knows who she is and the police would be able to get photos from her father and the security cameras. She knew this before committing the crime but her love for Manni is too strong. Their love for each other is especially showcased in the scenes in which they die. By using mental subjectivity, the director allows us to see the last thoughts going though dying character’s brain. They both see a conversation in bed in which the dying questions the others commitment to them.
Then, the camera shows the bloody face of the dying as they realize that they are leaving their true love. Another way of looking at it is that the dying refuses to accept this fate and wills time to go back twenty minutes to see if there is a happier ending to their story and their love is shown in the final when Lola doesn”t even realize that she is still holding a plastic bag full of money until Manni points it out. While looking at the implicit meaning to the film, which is that the slightest moment can change the rest of your life, is shown in all the possible ways the events can take place.
One of the best examples of this is when Manni is robbing the store in the first alternate future. If Lola arrived a few moments earlier, maybe she could have talked Manni out of robbing the store and just running away with her. Those moments could have come from anywhere, maybe if she didn”t ask for the time or the guard in the bank opened the security door faster rather than attempt to make small talk with Lola. There are so many ways the cause of her arriving late could have been changed. Another example of this is Papa talking to his mistress, Jutta.
The unrestricted narration of this film allows us to know that in the final future that she may be pregnant with another man’s child, even though she doesn”t tell him. Papa is incredibly happy with the news that Jutta is pregnant, but we know that when he finds out that she was cheating on him, he is going to be furious at her. The unrestricted narration also allows us to understand the despair on her face when Papa leaves and she was unable to tell him that the baby may be another man’s baby.
The best example of how a moment can affect the rest of your life is the “And then” pictures that are shown throughout the movie. The man who tries to sell his bike to Lola is a fine example of this. In the first future, he sees Lola running and tries to sell her his bike for fifty marks and she tell him to get lost. And then, we are shown pictures of him getting attacked by thugs and falling in love with a pretty nurse at the hospital he is taken to.
In the second future, he tries to sell the bike to Lola for fifty marks and she tells him no because it is a stolen bike. And then, we are shown pictures of him becoming a homeless bum. In the final future, she cuts him off and rides around her in a mocking fashion. And then, he rides up to a food stand and sells his bike to the homeless man who took Manni bag full of money from the train for seventy marks. The movie uses nondiegetic materials to shown the differences between the futures, especially the background music.
The music in the back for the first two futures has the same fast beat and various other effects in common, but in the final future, the music is more upbeat and seems to be played at a higher octave than the other two. It almost sounds like they took a church song and quickened the tempo to it. The explicit meaning of “Love can do anything” and the implicit meaning of a moment can change an entire life are true to “Run Lola Run,” and I believe that those are the that the director and the writers wanted to make convey to the audience.