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Run Lola Run This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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A ny amazing roller coaster has some fantastical elements: a heart-racing soundtrack, a colorful spectrum of special effects, and, of course, an intensely varied track that leaves riders feeling breathlessly exhilarated. The cinematic equivalent would have to be the German film “Run Lola Run” directed by Tom Tykwer. This refreshing foreign gem stands out from the monotony of generic flicks coming out of Hollywood.

The film opens with Lola (Franka Potente) receiving a distressing phone call from her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu). While acting as messenger for a crime gang, Manni leaves a significant amount of money – that is supposed to be delivered to his boss – on the subway. Before the train doors close, he sees a homeless man take the bag. Lola has to meet him in twenty minutes with replacement cash, or else Manni will have to rob a nearby supermarket. This results in three separate “runs” by Lola, trying to acquire the cash and reach Manni within the time limit. Defying traditional time sequence, she resets her scenario each time a devastating event occurs, ultimately taking control of her own – and even strangers' – destinies.

Potente gives a spectacular performance as Lola, easily channelling her spunky tough-girl persona. The only flaw would be her manic and unnecessary screaming. Yet she also adds an emotional depth to her character by narrating her philosophical thoughts about her love for Manni. Her portrayal of the unpredictable protagonist keeps the movie fascinating and suspenseful.

Bleibtreu's depiction of the distraught, violent Manni is also admirable. He displays Manni's menacing side while simultaneously exposing his character's insecurity with ­effortless grace.

Herbert Knaup also receives an honorable mention for his role as Lola's insensitive yet terrified father, who drastically changes his reaction to her money request in two separate scenarios.

Tykwer is a gifted director who masterfully tells this story through his incorporation of music and special effects. The movie's soundtrack has a constant, pulsing beat that practically breathes adrenaline, and his frequent use of sped-up photographic frames creates a constant curiosity for the extras in the film. Tykwer also dabbles with animation, slow motion, and red-tinted scenes to allow each part to make an arresting image upon viewers.

Not everyone enjoys the bewilderment and anticipation of a roller coaster ride, but for those who do, “Run Lola Run” is an invigorating plunge into the questionable continuum of time.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.





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