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Film: Run, Lola, Run
Lola rennt (known as Run, Lola, Run in English-speaking countries) is a 1998 German film. Unique and varied, the film is difficult to assign to any specific genre. Instead, think of this movie as a video game style exploration of love and fate that blends animation sequences with live footage, except that it's techno, fast, and features a red-haired German woman who spends most of the movie running.

After his girlfriend Lola's scooter is stolen, Manni, a courier for a crime boss, accidentally leaves 100,000 Deutschmarks on the subway, where it's stolen by a homeless man. He's dead if he doesn't bring it in, so he decides to rob a grocery store in order to make up for the loss. He helpfully informs Lola of this 20 minutes beforehand. Lola, whose father is a wealthy banker, decides to see if she can get Manni's money for him.

The film is perhaps most famous for its video game parallels: several times throughout the movie, Lola suddenly dies, and the story starts over, with Lola making subtly different decisions this time around that greatly affect the outcome.


Lola rennt contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Anti-Role Model: Virtually everyone in the film, from the bike thief, moped thief, homeless thief, struggling unemployed criminals, vain unfaithful wife, workaholic unfaithful husband...
  • Anti-Villain: Arguably Lola and Manni, who are both apparently unrepentant smugglers, though shown sympathetically.
  • Big Heroic Run: Lola has twenty minutes to come up with one hundred thousand Marks, and her scooter was stolen prior to the intro. As a result, she is forced to get around Berlin by running.
  • Blind Seer: In the third loop the blind woman by the phone box knows, as if by magic, that the tramp with the money is about to cycle by.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Zig-Zagged. When Lola takes part in the armed robbery in the first loop, Manni tells her how to turn the safety catch of a gun off. In the second loop she "remembers" this for when she stages her own robbery at the bank.
  • Cultural Translation: The English dub replaces the Deutschmarks with dollars.
  • Death by Pragmatism: According to Word of God, the man on the moped who dies in the third loop is the same man who robbed Lola's moped earlier in the day so he gets his comeuppance.
  • Dramatic Irony: Lola runs past the bum that robbed the money only a few seconds after she leaves the house in each loop not knowing who he is.
  • Family Relationship Switcheroo: "Besides, I could never have fathered a freak like you..." "Yeah but you did, jerk!" "No I didn't!"
  • Flash Forward: The futures of some of the people Lola meets on her journeys are shown through Blipverts, and the same people get different futures depending on the loop, and how their own minor interactions with Lola went. One old lady, who gets a Flash in each loop, was shown to lose custody of her child and kidnap another baby, win the lottery and live a life of decadence, or become a devout Catholic depending on whether Lola bumped into her or not.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Before Lola starts running, you see Lola's father shake his head. This tells the audience right away he is not going to give her the money she needs.
    • In the second run of the film when Lola robs the bank, you can see the security guard having chest pains. In the third run, Lola hitches a ride in the ambulance and finds the same security guard having suffered a heart attack.
  • For Want of a Nail: The differences in the three timelines are caused by various minor events that cumulatively slow down or hurry Lola's journey. In a more focused manner, when Lola impacts someone's life, the audience sees a quick few polaroids of how their life changed as a result of the incident.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop: The film's events loop over and over until Lola stops getting the Downer Endings.
  • Happy Marriage Charade: Lola's 'parents', who are both cheating on each other.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The film is narrated by German actor Hans Paetsch, well known for narrating children's stories.
  • Karma Houdini:
    • Though they're portrayed as the heroes of the piece, Lola and Manni need the money in the first place as they are both accomplices in a diamond smuggling operation. However, in the third loop they get away scot free (and with 100,000 Marks!).
    • When Lola's father swerves into the wrong lane to avoid Manni and the homeless man running across the road, he crashes into a white BMW, which is then hit from behind by the moped thief who stole Lola's scooter (setting the whole plot in motion). However, while Lola's father and Mr. Meyers are knocked unconscious and the moped driver seems to be dead, the only people unharmed are the occupants of the BMW... Manni's crime boss and his underlings.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: The "good" ending is the only one in which Lola doesn't try armed robbery.
  • Love Transcends Spacetime: See "The Power of Love," below.
  • Magic Realism: Lola appears to have screams that can shatter glass as well as possile powers of being able to persuade people to do things for her. She also remembers certain things she learned in separate loops.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Lola's shouting can shatter glass.
  • One True Love: The concept of there being one true love in a person's life is discussed in one of the interludes, where Lola and Manni consider what would happen to the other person if one of them died:
    Manni: [...] And then a man with these really big green eyes shows up at the door... And he's so super cool and compassionate, and he'll listen to you talk your heart out all night long until your ears drop off ... Then you'd hop into his lap, cross me off your list, and that'll be the end of me!
    Lola: But Manni... you're not about to die.
  • Police Are Useless: In the first loop, a police officer accidentally shoots Lola. In the second, the police doesn't bother her, presumably because of her innocuous appearance.
  • Real-Life Relative: The mother of Moritz Bleibtreu (Manni) plays the blind woman whose phone card Manni borrows to call Lola.
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: The American independent film And Then Came Lola is Run Lola Run with lesbians!
  • Red-Headed Heroine: Lola, the main character and the film's protagonist, has red hair, ensuring that she always stands out on screen.
  • Sheet of Glass: In the second run, the ambulance Lola tries to hitch a ride on runs through a pane of glass. The delay causes the driver to hurry and run over Manni in the street. In the third run, the ambulance is able to stop in time.
  • Shout-Out: To the movie Vertigo: the use of spirals and there is also a painting in the casino which was painted to look like the shots of the back of Kim Novak's head.
  • Split-Screen Phone Call: When Manny and Lola talk on the phone.
  • Throw It In: When Lola is playing roulette in the final loop an initial take was filmed of the wheel spinning and the ball being dropped, with the intention of later editing it together with a staged shot of the ball landing on twenty to complete the scene and win her the money she needed. However, on that first take the ball actually hit twenty!
  • Wealthy Ever After: At the end of the movie, Lola wins one hundred thousand Marks, the approximate equivalent of fifty thousand euros, at the casino while Manni manages to retrieve the money he lost at the start of the movie.

The Rugrats MovieFilms of the 1990sRush Hour
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alternative title(s): Lola Rennt; Run Lola Run; Lola Rennt
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