Along for the ride, err, run
There is often a symbiotic relationship between the soundtrack and the movie. Spielberg can't seem to get very far from John Williams. The same can be said about Tim Burton and former Oingo Boingo front man Danny Elfman. It's hard to imagine some movies without their music. So what do we do with the genre of music called techno, or electronica, or dance? You could make a movie like Rave or any of the films by Gregg Araki, but these films are just choosing 'contemporary' counterpoints to their movie. It could just as well be the disco soundtrack from Whit Stilman's Last Days of Disco.
Run Lola Run has a differnt take on the soundtrack. I think this movie was mostly inspired by the music and much of the movie would have fallen flat had the techno beats not been the backbone. In addition to building on the musical themes, the movie plucks several different styles and adds them to the mix. There's some loose animation, dream sequences, slow motion, and music video style edits.
So the story revolves around Manni and Lola. Manni wants to be a hustler and is trying to earn the respect of his boss. He's given a job that involves transporting 100,000 DM. He mistakenly leaves it on the subway/train. He calls his girlfriend and is very desparate. Lola tries to calm him down, but there's not much consolation she can provide. Manni thinks he has only 20 minutes until his boss will arrive and ask for the money. Lola has lost her transportation and has only 20 minutes to come up with the money and reach Manni. She sprints across town.
This is where the movie pulls out it's main device. She makes this journey three times. Each time is sort of a "what if?" scenario. It's a nice commentary on how decisions get made, timing, and luck. Each time she starts running, a small change in her journey affects every other aspect of the journey. The movie makes a clever choice in using the 20 minute time frame. Each run across the city is filmed in real time. So having 15 minutes of setup and 5 minutes between each run makes for an average length movie.
Run Lola Run isn't a drama or comedy, but it is a fun ride.
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