Run Lola Run, a German film by Tom Tykwer, reflects the contemporary possibilities of its time. Lola, the main red-headed character in this film, is trying to save Manni from death. Tom Tykwer, a director of great talent, created this “masterpiece” that uses different visual and audio features to portray a realistic representation of modern Berlin. These features help the audience connect to and enjoy such an amazing film. Run Lola Run explores the themes of choice, consequences, fate, chance, and time. Tom calls the film ‘an experiment for a large audience’. This affirms that the language barrier has no significant impact on the relationship between the audience and the film.
The film uses split screen, slow-motion, and many camera angles to express Tykwer’s realistic vision of the movie. Split screen shows two simultaneous situations at different locations. The clock in this scene is the third split to emphasize the importance of time. Lola’s first ‘life” is shown in slow motion. It dramatically increases the impact of her death, and the story as a whole. The camera angles in a film can convey a wide range of meanings. They can make someone appear powerful, important, and strong, or they could make them look small, unworthy, and useless. After Manni’s ambulance hits him, a distinct camera angle is shown. This bird’s-eye view shows the loneliness that Manni experienced without Lola. Lola appeared to have stopped being involved in his life at one point. This made him wonder what to do. The movie is full of symbols, two of which are the clocks (which show the time) as well as spirals (which represent confusion and mysteries). This scene shows both symbols, with the clock being the most eye-catching. The spiral can be seen as a form of a spirale shop in the back.
Music is a very obvious audio tool. Music that is fast-paced and techno is used to enhance each scene. The film’s main concept is Time. The fast-paced music shows the intensity of the twenty-minute scene. The film uses music to affect the viewers’ emotions and change their mindset. Music is classified non-diegetic, as characters are unable to hear the music playing above the intensity of the plot. Diegetic sound can be found in the dialogue that is freely exchanged between characters. This gives the story a deeper meaning. The sound of the phone when Lola first discovers manni’s problems is similar to a ringing tone that you hear after the handset has been dropped back on the phone.
Traditional narratives follow a linear flow. The film breaks the boundaries of traditional narrative structure by repeating similar events over and over again to make a connection between gamification and the message. This film’s structure is different from the original one because it conveys the message differently. The structure of the film is broken not only when Lola respawns. Her interactions with characters also lead to different futures. Doris’ character is one of the characters that are affected in every replay. Lola is speeding past Doris, who’s pushing a baby stroller. Doris is a mother who steals her child back after she loses it. She wins the lotto and lives happily ever after in the second scenario. The third one sees Doris devote her life entirely to prayer, becoming a nun. The first two scenarios are based on the vulgar words Doris chooses to use after meeting Lola. This leads to the outcome of these two lives. In her last life, Doris refrains from using any bad words and becomes a nun.
Gamification means turning something mundane into an exciting challenge. A task is given an objective. In Run Lola Run you have to deliver 100,000 Deutsche Marks by the deadline of 20 minutes in order to save Manni. Lola cannot complete the challenge and is sent back to start. Lola is able to take charge of her own life by restarting her past lives. This knowledge allows her to make better choices in the future, and hopefully avoid a negative outcome. The tile sequence, and the beginning of each life mirrors a video game-like theme. Lola runs along a course that changes its approach each time it passes through the gates shaped like clocks.
Tom Tykwer has used a number of visual and audible features as well an unconventional narrative and modern gamification techniques to help shape the meaning that Run Lola Run is intended to convey for its audience.