Run Lola Run dir Tom Tykwer
17 July 2002


What an excellent film. I was expecting to be confused, but it was even better than that. It was challenging but made sense. And it asked the question that I often ponder: "What if?" Interestingly enough this is often while I'm in town alone. The man crossing the street outside the cafe. For him the difference between life and death in that instant is a moment's indecision on the part of the driver, but is it really decided by many other, uncontrollable factors? What if this man has no control over his own safety, and it actually depends on whether the driver dropped her handbag while getting into her car in the morning, making her a second later so she would just miss the man crossing the street at lunchtime? Considering events from this angle, it doesn't take long to arrive at the idea that your destiny is fixed and beyond your control. Yet Lola proved otherwise. In the first run-through, she dies. In the second run-through very little changes, yet Manni dies. In the third, little changes again, yet this time there is a happy ending.

The example above with the man crossing the street is just so with Manni in the second version of events. He sees Lola, steps out into the street and is run over by an ambulance. A minute earlier the ambulance had crashed through a sheet of plate-glass that was being carried across the street. If that hadn't happened the ambulance would have passed before Manni stepped into the street. Yet why did the driver allow his ambulance to hit the glass? He was distracted by Lola running alongside, asking for a lift. If she hadn't been there it would have meant one of two things: a) She had already passed and got to Manni. b) She was late and Manni wouldn't even see her. Either way Manni has no reason to step into the street when the ambulance is passing. To summarise: If Lola hadn't slowed the ambulance down it wouldn't have hit Manni. If Lola hadn't been there to slow it down, Manni wouldn't have been there to be hit. Yet she was trying to help him.

I am reminded of the world of quantum physics, where absolute causality does not exist (ie it is impossible to predict the effect of an event) and nothing is real unless observed.

I couldn't help noticing that in version 1 Lola had to be told how to turn off a gun's safety catch, but in version 2 she already knew. The two versions cannot start from the same place. We have a little chaos theory coming in here, I think.


6 August 2002

Lola is a very strong character in the film. I like the colour of her hair, the individuality that it demonstrates. I admire the strength of her personality that drives her to try to do this thing, try to save Manni's life. This strength is particularly evident at the end of part 1, when she has failed to get the money she needs and has just a few minutes to make her rendezvous with him. She can't help him, but she tries to get to him anyway. Perhaps she thinks she can save him somehow, or perhaps she merely wants to be with him at the end. The point is that she keeps running. She doesn't know what she's going to do, but she still keeps running. I admire her strength, persistence and love for Manni.


back to litblog