"Run Lola Run" by Tom Tykwer

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High energy from start to end. Run Lola Run, a German film directed by Tom Tykwer manages to hold the attention span of the audience throughout the whole movie with its energetic plot and editing. This film showcases an interesting concept of different possibilities that can occur, also known as butterfly effect. In the film, Lola had three runs with each being of different choices and thus affecting the outcomes. The story is about Lola who has to get 100,000 Deutsche Mark in 20 minutes in order to save her boyfriend’s life. That explains why the whole film is in high energy because that would be the perfect way to execute the rushing adrenaline. In this film analysis, the theme, mise-en-scène, cinematography, and the sound will be discussed.

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The three runs that Lola had all started the same way but evolve differently when Lola made different choices in each one. In each run, Lola bumped into bystanders and in flash-forward images briefly showed what their future holds. This shows that an action changes in a system, will affect other actions too. This is when butterfly effect comes in. In the 3 runs, Lola showed a sign of awareness as if she lived in all of those runs and not only one. One run after another Lola acted more confidently as if she learned from the past. There’s one scene in one alternate reality where Manni taught Lola how to use a gun by pulling the safety pin and in the next alternate reality, Lola ‘leraned’ from the past mistake and knows how to use a gun. This somehow contradicts the ‘alternate realities’ which should not be interconnected and stand on its own. Other theory is that all of the runs is just Lola making carefully calculated movements. The ones with the best outcomes is what she pursued with in the end.

Lola’s skimpy outfit of bright colours perfectly portrays her as rebellious with her red hair that looks like flames when she runs just adds that perfect flow. It also shows that Lola is a strong and brave lady and nothing can stop her to save the life of her loved ones. The lighting of the film is mostly bright when Lola is running outdoors. But some scenes of Lola’s father and his mistress and another one when she is with her boyfriend are of different look. The father and the mistress scene is mostly close ups when they were conversing and it’s in warm light. This gives off that intimate ‘loving’ couple feels whereas the latter is in bold, red lighting when Lola and Manni were conversing on serious questions about their relationship. The red lighting somehow brings alertness (the serious questions) and sensuality into the frame (they’re having a pillow talk).

With Lola constantly running in the film definitely plays a major part in spiking up the intensity level. Most of the shots consist of tight framing and not much on sceneries. This is to drive the attention only to Lola’s life and her current situation: saving her boyfriend. Tracking shot is used a lot when Lola is running. The choice of using tracking adds motion to the frame and it feels as if we are running with her. The transition from the real life to animation and back to real life somehow represents the world inside Lola’s head. From running down the spiral stairs and just kept running is what Lola is thinking. There’s only one thing that she has in her mind: that is to save Manni.

The soundtrack for this film is made by the director himself. The music has a distinct sound to it; repetitive. This also plays a major role in establishing the energy and momentum and what will keep you on the edge of your sit. Music used in films is to enhance whatever the film is trying to show. Run Lola Run chose the perfect soundtrack to accompany the flow of the movie.

A unique concept of film, successfully executed in Run Lola Run. Perhaps, even mind-boggling. Though the storyline does not have much depth to it, the simplicity of it that helps the audience to get a grasp onto the whole of never-ending running. The interesting style of editing by inserting the animation and the flash-forwards and Lola’s personality is loud enough to leave an impact to the audience.

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