See Lola Run

Review by Kelly Dolejsi

Everyone should see a German film at some point, right, so why not now?

This month the library screens “Run Lola Run” (1998, rated R), the classic German thriller about a woman who has 20 minutes to come up with 100,000 Deutschmarks before her boyfriend gets killed. It’s literally run, run, run — until the film ends a mere 81 real-time minutes later.

The movie is unabashedly action-packed, the kind of film that if it were a text would never contain an adverb. It wastes no time with wistful peering into landscapes and complex expressions of existential dilemmas.

And yet, and maybe because they are German, these are emotional people stealing, gambling, banking, confessing, crashing, and running all over the city. Furthermore, these people have deep questions and very gray relationships, the kind that stink with disgust, betrayal, stupid decisions, and genuine love.

That said, it’s mostly about the running.

Franka Potente is quite brilliant as Lola, our star athlete. She turns a punk kid with hair the color of the Kool-Aid Man, with her bad family and her sidelong involvement with nefarious boyfriend-killing types, into an unexpectedly practical, loyal, courageous, heroic woman.

The movie, as a whole, is also brilliant. It reminds us that fear can be fun, existential dilemmas can be exciting, and running can be about more than pronation and fitting into your jeans.

Running can mean the difference between winning and losing the real race.

“Run Lola Run” screens at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 7 — today — in the upstairs meeting room theater at Mesa Public Library as part of the Free Film Series, which focuses this season on foreign films. It is made possible though Friends of Mesa Public Library.

For more information, call the library at 662-8240.


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