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Posted on April 1st, 2012, by

Run Lola Run is the most famous and fashionable German film of the previous decade, which became a hit on both sides of the Atlantic (Ludewig, 2006). The film offers us a model of cinema of a new century. Run Lola Run may be considered an extravagant experiment, which expresses the existential philosophy of the film. Where are we going? How do we know what we think we know? (Run Lola Run Script) It is possible to argue that imagination and reality in our world have absolutely equal rights.

The surface fable of the film is simple enough. A viewer sees Berlin the end of 1990ies, the sun is about to enter the zenith, it’s 11.40: twenty minutes before noon. Twenty fateful minutes, which will decide whether there’ll love, life or death. Lola and Mani are young people, who are in love with each other. Mani is to bring dirty money into the hands of stolen cars trader. At midday, a young man must give a bag with money to the boss. But something went wrong since early morning, and Mani lost the money. The loss of 100 000 marks raises the possibility of being killed. So Lola has twenty minutes to find one hundred thousand marks, twenty minutes to show her love, twenty minutes to save the life of a loved one. The girl runs through the streets of Berlin, trying to catch up with the slipping away love, Mani, life.

The action of the film resembles the course of computer quest game with many variations of outcomes, the choice of which depends on player’s actions (Griffiths, 2003). Main heroine Lola passes quests step by step, fulfilling a mission to rescue a loved one. The whole secret of the film lies in the fact that it consists of three identical plots, precisely, almost identical. After Lola reaches Mani and the story ends, there is something that generates an unattainable wish to play the whole scenario again.

The film is producing just monstrous energetics. From the very first scenes, the director (and also the screenwriter) tends to raise viewer’s pulse rate with the combination of means, the simplest of which is showing frantic pace of events. The main heroine is constantly running, she’s allowed to relax for just several minutes to solve the main problem, and then she runs again (Bennett, 2008). In addition to this, the action is accompanied with a thick layer of technological music. When Lola runs, the music does not leave the viewer, raising the pulse rate for a few more units.

When the events are not presented in the perception of Lola and Mani, digital video gets in the course. Flash frames are showing the fate of side characters whom Lola meets in the course of the race. When, the viewer sees animated frames on the screen, the director flaunt the story, like everything is not that difficult, as you see, dear viewers, relax, it’s only a game. But is it factually a game? (Coates, 2009) No, the director plays the feelings of the audience, makes his dominance clear, and makes it clear that he completely took over their minds. Animated clips do not bring a sense of relief, but they emphasize the tension of the plot. Animated Lola makes the viewer acutely perceive the efforts of a real girl.

Another method used in the film is that Lola’s hair is colored in bright red. This moves us to the second component of the energy the film, i.e. its color and visual its decision. The girl’s hair is not bright red accidentally, but it adds a healthy dose of acidity effect to the action, which also reinforces heroine’s association with a computer character (Roig, 2009).

When the viewer realizes that he’s offered to watch the ups and downs of virtual people, actually computer characters, which act again after death and restart as if nothing happened, his empathy may disappear: he understands that for Lola and Mani death has no irreversible inevitability (Coates, 2009). However, simple curiosity in how events will develop in the new version of the game makes us stick to the screen. The director justifies these expectations through keeping to the rhythm.

This would be unfair to simplify the plot of the film to the adaptation of virtual adventure that requires from the main character some mental decision in order to move the plot. The deep meaning of director’s ideas is not only about the boundless power of love. The script writer working on the project was clearly under the influence of works of Camus, Sartre, Berdyaev. These existentionalists, adherents of the doctrine of freedom of choice, agreed on the following: only personal principle in man has value. Everyone has a choice, and everyone makes a choice to the extent of his freedom and responsibility.

Lola made a choice in the frameworks which she had been given by the supreme mind. The girl made a choice to the extent of their freedom and responsibility. But the film doesn’t end. This is one of the strongest visual methods applied. The film allows the viewer to understand the significance of events in each human life. In the film, the end of the story is the beginning of a new man: After the game is before the game.”(Run Lola Run Script)

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