Written by EM
“The ball is round. The game lasts 90 minutes. That’s a fact. Everything else is pure theory. Here we go!” And just like that, Lola starts running. Her goal is simple: to get to her boyfriend, Manni, within 20 minutes with 100,000 marks. If she doesn’t, he will meet his death by the boss of an organised crime gang. If she doesn’t, he will steal the money from the supermarket by the meeting point.
When the red handset lands on the red phone, the red-haired Lola starts running; past her idle mother and other people on her way, that make significant points of reference in the movie. Or should we say, “checkpoints” ? She wants to get to the bank where her father works because he is her only chance to get this amount of money in such a short time. Little does she know that her father is in his office with his mistress, talking about her pregnancy; and how that will affect her getting the money or not. The father rejects her request for help, but treats her to a piece of information, something about her whole life being a lie since she is the child of someone else. Beautiful thing to learn when your boyfriend’s life is at stake and you’ve undertaken the task of saving him, right? But Lola doesn’t stop running. She doesn’t have time for this. She continues running towards Manni with no plan, apparently. She is stopped only for seconds by some workers carrying a glass panel. The ambulance that ran past her, stops just in time and the glass is safe. They all go on their way. Lola is very close, but just in time to see that Manni didn’t wait for her. He’s going in the supermarket for an armed robbery that will get him his 100,000 marks. Lola is disappointed but soon joins him, because this is the only way she can help him now. They run away before the police gets to the supermarket with the money in a trashbag. But they catch up to the couple. And just when Manni throws the bag in the air, one of the policemen shoots Lola by accident. Lola relives a moment of her life, just before drawing her last breath. She’s in bed with Manni, asking him if he loves her and whether he would say the same things to another woman, supposing he was in a relationship with her and not Lola.
What, you think I spoiled the movie? I told you from the beginning, it’s a 90-minute game. And I’ve only talked about 20 minutes of it.
Run Lola Run is a special kind of game. In the movie you will see two more versions of Lola’s struggle in a day of her life and two versions of ending it. Now, about the people she runs by, the “checkpoints”. In all three versions where Lola is a protagonist, we get to see a few instances of their life after that day. And do they have fascinating lives! But would you call them extras, with a bit of spotlight shining on them? The director himself will give you the answer. In the film we see Domino tiles, put one behind the other in a long line. Push one and it will bring down the whole line.
But this is how I like to tell Lola’s story. Now, why don’t you go and make versions of your own?