Run Lola Run
My Rating:

Sheer Video Perfection!

Bitable Bytes:
"Totally engaging!"
"Redefines narrative film-making!"
"High-speed, high-entensity!"
"You quickly forget you're reading subtitles!"
"Among the best I've seen all year!"

What to do while watching:
Aptly enough, I soaked a sprained ankle while watching this film.

What to eat while watching:
Your favorite energy bar.

Yes, I know this review is riddled with mistakes. I was in a hurry when I wrote it, and I'm really not that much of a boob to genuinely confuse French and German. Sincerely, Gooden Worsted.

Run, Lola, Run! is one of those rare films that redefines narrative film-making and is totally engaging at the same time. It's a high-speed, high-intensity slice of the life of Lola, a young rebellious woman for whom things either work out for the best--or not.

The narrative trick of rehashing a story several times is not new. Sliding Doors with Gwyneth Paltrow (see my archives) does much the same thing, replaying the same characters in the same setting with one divergent split-second that causes entirely different outcomes. Lola lives her marathon three distinct times, and each time seems as breath-taking as the last. The trickiness of this narrative style is the automatic suspense it creates as you wonder how a second's difference is going to change everything.

The reason Lola is running, running is that her boyfriend has gotten in trouble with drug-dealer. He needs to come up with a huge sum of money in only twenty minutes. Lola is sure she can get it to him in time, but he's planning on robbing a store if she doesn't show. It's a life or death situation for him. Lola screams, then begins to run the quickest and most desperate errand of her life: getting across town to meet her boyfriend while somehow picking up 100,000 francs on the way.

Lola demonstrates an element of magical realism that is doubly magical for it's verisimilitude: this viewer bought it without feeling it was cheesy or fake. Lola is a marvelously powerful woman and her portrayal by the highly attractive actress works. Lola's superhuman wail shatters glass and seems actually to alter reality around her. We also understand that she--and her power--is driven by love.

Withhold your cynicism, for this force is given due depth in the film. In a series of flashbacks, Lola and Marco (I think was his name), discuss their love for one another in terms of death, and sex, and loneliness. The translator has done a fine job of catching the nuanced and dark humor and tenderness in these dialogues.

If you are squeamish about subtitles, don't be: it's really not a big deal. You're a big boy/girl, and you can read. Anyway, in a film like this, you quickly forget you're reading subtitles. The images are vivid, the music driving, the story engrossing, and the energy high. There's no time to feel anything about reading subtitles or not reading them. And if you speak French, so much the better.

This movie has it all: thrill, action, romance, good feelings, magic, betrayal, house music, and even animation. This is among the best I've seen all year.

Gooden Worsted is now Taking Requests!

Want to share a happy story with Gooden?

Gooden's Reading:

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

Gooden's Listening to:

Personality Plus - Personality Plus, the Album (Not available online)


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