Lola is a self-aware player character in a video game.
The moment that Lola hangs up the phone is the beginning of the level. The live-action portions represent how the game characters perceive the game; the animated scenes represent how the players perceive the game.
- Specifically, it seems to be a Wide Open Sandbox with RPG Elements; the roulette wheel is probably some kind of Unexpected Gameplay Change mini-game.
- By "self-aware" do you mean "sentient" or "aware she is in a video game". Because she doesn't seem to know she's in a game.
- She's aware of previous iterations. In the first, when she helped Manni rob the convenience store, she didn't know how to use a handgun; Manni had to tell her how to turn off the safety. In the second, when she robbed the bank, she turned off the safety on her own. And the way Lola whispered "No" just before both of the reboots suggests that she has some control over them—or at least she thinks she does.
- On the other hand, during the second run she still bumps into everything from the first run. If it was a game, those would be avoided. Also, she stands there doing nothing for, like, half a minute during his father's argument. No player would stop doing anything for half a minute during a Timed Mission listening to a conversation that gives her information she already has from the previous playthrough. Of course, if it wasn't a Timed Mission, that would be Genre Savvyness and knowledge of travelling with the Speed Of Plot.
- Maybe the stuff with her dad is part of a Cut Scene?
- Lola has bright red hair. You Gotta Have Blue Hair.
- The film was made around 1998, when Lara Croft was all the rage.
- She's backed up by a slammin' techno soundtrack.
- She is active. She runs a lot. She solves problems (or tries to) and gets hurt.
- The film is urban and contemporary. It is youthful. It is fast.
The security guard is Lola's biological father.
- It seemed pretty obvious to me on watching, it's just never said.
Or maybe he has a crush on her
- Your idea never occurred to me, but it's just as valid now that I think about it
It's not hard to figure out how to work the safety on a gun
- In the first run she just asked Manni because it was easier than working it out for herself. She musn't remember her previous runs because she'd dodge the bum and the pram better
The bag is hope
- When Manni throws the bag to the police, he is surrendering (relinquishing "the bag"). When Manni dies in the 2nd run, Lola drops "the bag". At the end of the 3rd run, they still have "the bag"
Time isn't rewinded at any point, rather the director is showing us all the different ways that things can play out
- By that I mean it isn't canon that Lola and Manni survive, just a possibility
The role filled by the thug with the dog for Lola is the same role Lola fills for the pram lady, the bank lady and others
- In that she is the independent variable which their lives depend on
God is playing scientist
- In science you change one variable and measure it's effect on the rest of your experimental setup. God is changing the actions of the thug and the dog and spectating their effects on Lola and her resultant effects on the people she meets. He is kind enough to show us what he sees through this film
- A slightly different scenario: God gave Lola some supernatural powers (a limited ability to rewind time, an even more limited ability to remember alternate timelines, the ability to influence chance by screaming) because he wants to see how humans would use them. However, he doesn't give Lola more than the barest intuition on how to use them, because past test subjects went mad with the power.
The punks into whom Meyer crashes are Manni's bosses.
- They certainly look like the mugshots shown, and it would be a great case of dramatic irony.
The whole plot is Lola making up scenarios in her head whilst having a conversation with Manni in bed.
In between each of the three different scenarios it cuts to a conversation the two are having, about (for example) what if one or the other was about to die or similar. Could it be possible that none of the events actually happen but are just Lola (or perhaps Manni?) daydreaming of what might happen if he did get into trouble and thinking about the consequences?