Run Lola Run (1998)


Inspired by Polish director Krzysztof Kislowski and his film Blind Chance about a man chasing a train in three separate stories and how those stories affect life, German director and screenwriter Tom Tykwer is shooting Run Lola Run as his fourth and most famous film. The film is about Lola (Franka Potente), who has only twenty minutes to get one hundred thousand German marks for her boyfriend Mania (Moritz Bleibtreu), after Mani lost money in the subway that he had to take to the mob boss. Manny’s head is a stake, and Lola has to get the money, because otherwise Mani will be forced to rob the store he heard about, turning over two hundred thousand German marks a day. This action becomes the initial capsule that is fired three times in the style of Kišlovski’s film. Each story has a different development and a different ending. The film is extremely deep and belongs to the class of films that can be viewed from different levels. On the first level, the film is about love and what lovers are willing to do to protect their love; on another level, the film makes philosophical variations on two theories: determinism versus free will. No matter how viewers view the film, everyone can understand it in their own way and be satisfied with it after watching it.

As a relatively small film on a thin budget that does not even reach two million dollars, it was shot for the German-speaking area in the recognizable streets of Berlin. The thin budget reflected on the length of the film, but the script itself completely coexists with the budget, because the scenes were shot on the same route, which leads to rehearsals, shooting different scenes in the same place that are later edited so that they seem to happen at different times. while enormous savings are made because the team doesn’t have to move from location to location and doesn’t have to adapt to new environments, adjust light, plan camera position, and more. The film is constantly accompanied by great techno music that perfectly fits the adrenaline rush through the streets of Berlin. During the time in which the story is set, some other kind of music would completely change the rhythm of the film and create a different atmosphere. The scenes would look wonderful with Beethoven’s seventh symphony or a pop ballad, but such a musical accompaniment would create a different emotion and remove the focus from the story in which Lola must get money as soon as possible and reach Mania.

In addition to directing, Tom Tykewer wrote the screenplay for the film and radio music as one of the co-authors. When we look at the names of the main characters, we can recognize how detailed Tykewer created this film. There is a popular belief that a family name and surname can bring happiness or sorrow to the person who bears them. Many people who study names and surnames claim that the surname has little to do with the future of the person who wears them, but that is why the name has a huge impact. Although this claim may seem completely meaningless at first glance, it is full of truth. Each name has some meaning and as such, it gives a characteristic of the person who wears them, and thus reacts on a subconscious level to the one who bears that name and models the person in some way. Tykewer was probably aware of this fact, so he called Mania just that, because Mani is a unisex name of Hindu origin, but its meaning could be interpreted as the English word money, which means money. Mani is the one who caused the existence of the whole film by losing money. On the other side is Lola, which is a name of Spanish origin derived from Dolores, and translated into English means sorrow, which represents a degree more than sadness. These two concepts are directly related to the main elements of the film, and this is no coincidence at all.

The fact that Manny lost money is a classic mistake, the one that Freud was the first to explain. Manny subconsciously does not want to hand over the money to the mafia boss for some reasons that are not put in the foreground, and maybe he just wants to escape with that money and Lola from the living mud in which he is slowly sinking. Lola, on the other hand, with her appearance and behavior, is a part of the counterculture that finds solace in the arms of a bad guy. Her parents live on a high footing in a fashionable marriage based on fraud and lack of attention paid to children. When Lola leaves the apartment after receiving a call from Mania, her mother just throws in a few sentences, practically uninterested in why her child flew out of the apartment so furiously. We have not seen what Lola’s teenage years looked like, but from these actions and overall behavior, it is obvious that she was neglected to a great extent, which led her to turn to the alternative and jump off the rails of the hectic life that was served to her.

There is an ingrained belief that everything that happens is a direct action of God. Regardless of whether there was a volcanic eruption, an earthquake, regardless of whether someone won the lottery or was robbed. Sometimes when it comes to a difficult situation, people like to say that it was God’s will or that it had to be that way, or that it was the best. It is just a kind of consolation that a person gives himself when an unforeseen situation occurs. The struggle between determinism and free will is practically unequal, as this film directly suggests. The eruption of the volcano would not have happened if there was no earthquake, and the earthquake would not have happened if the tectonic plates had not moved, and the tectonic plates must move because that is how the planet works, and so on in a circle. If someone wins the lottery, he becomes a lure, so he can easily be robbed, or lost on a desert island when he decides to travel halfway around the world, or experience a robbery because he has a good property he bought from the money he won in the lottery. thus marking himself as bait. The possibilities in both cases do not end there, but continue indefinitely.

Quantum mechanics suggests that a particle or wave cannot be viewed as just a particle or just a wave, but as a special object that at a given moment behaves only as a particle or only as a wave. In this case, as Einstein suggested, everything is relative, so that at the same time determinism wins free will and free will wins determinism. Free will means that Lola can change the route and not cross the road to a car, ambulance or a woman pushing a baby in a stroller. Lola could come directly to Mania and not stop by her father to ask him for money and answer Mania from the robbery, and then return to her father to ask them for money. That would be quite reasonable and possible, but above all feasible in free will. Mani would be late to hand over the money to the mafia boss, but he would not get himself into even bigger trouble. The very situation in which the film finds itself proves that everything in this world tends to collapse, but not because this is the state of affairs, but because it is so caused by a cycle of unpleasant events.

If Mani had never gotten involved with the mob, he would never have had to get into this situation, Lola would never have had to run, she would never have met the characters she meets during the movie, the ambulance would never have had to intervene and so all in a circle. On the other hand, all this would not have happened if Mani had not lost the money, which only proves the deterministic side of the film and the story. If Mani does not lose money, it means that all this will not happen, otherwise, it will happen and there will be more accidents, as the film shows. One trouble causes two troubles, and therein lies determinism which also stands as a major factor in the story and supports the above theory that everything in this world tends to perish, all as a modified rule of physics that every body in motion strives to keep moving, and everyone the body at rest tends to remain at rest.

Theories of time travel speak of a concept known as the grandfather paradox. It’s about how a time traveler can go into the past, accidentally kill his grandfather and never be conceived that way. However, another theory, which is a frequent topic in the Lost series, says that a time traveler would not be able to do that, because something would stop him. This is a purely deterministic view of the situation, but let’s look a little more through that prism at the whole situation. In order for someone to prevent a time traveler from killing his grandfather, he would have to be present at the event, which means that instead of continuing on, he will stay. Let’s say that everything goes as it should, and the man who prevented the accident continued to his car, where he was originally moving, as if nothing had happened, which is unlikely because he would call the police or something else. The rescuer does not find his car because he was taken away by a spider because the lease of the place has expired, then the rescuer must go by taxi or bus to the parking service, thus putting himself in an even bigger problem and risk.

Those who hooked up his car and took it away instead of continuing had to stop there, and maybe they would go somewhere else where they would quarrel with a nervous car owner and so on, so that everyone’s lives would change because they would be moved. from what should have happened if the time traveler had not appeared, which could mean a completely different future for a longer period of time. It’s like a butterfly effect theory that tells how a small and weak butterfly started a tsunami on the other side of the world with its wing movement. This fact shows that the system is hermetically sealed and that one event on one side means that it will be different on the other side, which currently means that the interference of some external forces is possible only if those forces are summoned. All this previously shows that one chaos creates new chaos and strives to create chaos and practically becomes an unstoppable vicious circle in which everyone is directly or indirectly to blame for an event.

The whole ideological background of the film is unclear. Three stories alternate with three different ends, but it is not known whether the film is about the Hindu belief in reincarnation, events that take place in three parallel universes, creating three parallel universes when everything goes too wrong, or a life that is like a game. in which the player can restart his game until he crosses the level, ie solves the problem. Recall that Lola refused to die at the end of the first story which provokes the second story. Reincarnation could be an approximate answer, since Lola can’t handle a gun in one story and asks Mania for help, while in the next she is aware of how she handles a gun. In three parallel universes and a game, this is possible, because Lola could learn how to handle a gun from a previous game, so she restarted the game, and in parallel universes she could learn it in one of the previous events or simply react instinctively.

The film shows a lot of references to Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, such as the spiral staircase that Lola is chasing, the Spiral Cafe behind the phone booth where Manny is having a conversation, as well as Kim Novak’s picture from this film, which was painted fifteen minutes after Tykever at the casino. It was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award as the best film outside the English-speaking world. Audiences and critics liked the film and it is known as one of the best German films. Pretty fast and rhythmic by earlier standards, it pauses at times to slow down the action. The conversation between Lola’s father and his mistress as well as the conversation between Lola and Mani serve just that. The flash image when Lola comes into contact with some of the characters from the street does not slow down the action, but bridges it in the opposite direction and acts as a support that should refresh the already maniacal running through the streets of Berlin. Number twenty runs through the entire film. Manny has to rob the store in twenty minutes, Lola has to get the money in twenty minutes, she plays in the casino at number twenty. The scene with the roulette wheel and the ball falling on the number twenty was filmed in one of the first attempts, without any adjustment.

Some directors use basic colors such as blue and red to emphasize calm or danger. Tykewer uses red and yellow here to emphasize danger. Red is Lola’s color that announces danger. The phone, some cars on the street and her hair are that color. On the other side is the yellow color of Mani’s hair, a supermarket that plans to rob a phone booth. The woman from whom Mani borrowed money for the conversation is his mother in real life. Franca Potente was not allowed to wash her hair for several weeks because the color was sensitive to water and would fade after each wash. In the film, her hair would then have different shades during different scenes in different periods, which did not bother Martin Scorsese in one of his films at the beginning of his career.