Rating: Rated "R"
No matter what movies come out between now and December, "Run Lola Run" is on my list of 1999ís Ten Best Movies. Anybody within reach of the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville, should run, run, run to see this very entertaining, very cutting-edge, and very well-done film.
At first you get the feeling that the whole movie moves at the speed of, if not light, as least as fast as the last space shuttle to any satellite in orbit. Then it hits you that as fast as Lola runs--in a marvelous attempt to beat time--the story slows and becomes a philosophical statement on everything we face at centuryís end.
The drama concerns Lola (Franka Potente), a young German girl with a mop of died red hair, a great deal of discontent not only with her family but with society in general, and her boyfriend Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu).
Manni in a constant search for money, without bothering with work (German and the United States are a great deal alike, it seems, only there the streets are cleaner and the art is better), makes a big drug deal involving 100,000 marks, money that he promptly loses on a subway.
Manni calls Lola for help. She leaves her apartment, passing her besotted mother, then in cartoon form, meets a nasty kid with a Rotweiler in the hall, trips down the stairs, bursts from her apartment building with the speed of Superman on a slow day, eventually huffing up to the bank where her father works in an attempt to borrow the needed money.
And Manni needs it in exactly 20 minutes. Clocks tick, the big hand moves, the minutes are counted as they pass and she almost makes it. But it all ends in tragedy as Manni dies in a confrontation with the cops.
But wait! Suddenly we go back in time to see Lola run all over again only this time sheís a few seconds earlier than in the first trip (I wonít tell you why). And of course, the plot of the story is altered and ends a different way.
Then we return to the beginning and follow a third look at the same amount of time. And each time she passes somebody on the street, we see a photo montage of how their life has been changed because Lola interrupted their path of time. Just the scene with six men armed with rubber plungers crossing the street with a pane of glass, some twelve feet long and six feet high, with an ambulance speeding their way, is worth your effort.
If it sounds confusing, it isnít. In fact, itís all as clear as the ring of an in-tune bell. So donít miss it. If this is the direction of future movies, we have nothing to fear!