Even though I’ve only seen this movie one other time, it’s one of my favorites. There’s plenty to love about Lola. The premise is simple: Lola has twenty minutes to raise the money to save her boyfriend Manni’s life. Each failed attempt causes the clock to reset Groundhog Day-style. Except Lola doesn’t seem to remember she’s lived these twenty minutes before, as she often turns to the same useless source for help.
What I love about the movie is that it’s a love story. It’s about the power of love. Lola resets time and defies nature — by sheer force of will out of her love for Manni. The movie has an awesome techno soundtrack (one of my all time favorite movie soundtracks). Director Tom Tykwer uses animation and split screen, among other techniques, to compress time and give the movie a unique look and feel.
One of the coolest things about the movie is the way it briefly cuts away from Lola to show the audience the future of background characters via jump cut photographs. And the way those futures change in the different timelines.
I can hardly think of another movie where such minor characters get to have their stories told. I love that the film does this in such a breathless style as well, as if it is in just as much of a hurry as Lola, trying to keep pace with her, not wanting to take its eyes off her for too long.
Franka Potente’s Lola is the badass girlfriend you never had. With her expressive face and shocking red hair, she’s willing to walk in the fire and do whatever it takes to save the man she loves. It’s hard not to feel what Lola is feeling. That sympathy is part of what keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Although the movie is a scant eighty minutes, you feel like you’ve been on a journey by the end of it. Tykwer uses music, sound effects, and editing, to make you feel both the pressure Lola is under, and all the ground she is covering. It’s very effective. At one point, I found myself on the couch feeling compelled by the music to do SOMETHING, but not knowing what to do, feeling restless and helpless.
A few things to note: This is a foreign film, so there are subtitles. There is also some violence. I was a little more sensitive to the violence this time than I was the first time I watched it.
I was glad this movie lived up to my memory of it. I would recommend this to fans of Guy Ritchie, Alfred Hitchcock, and Rod Serling (with his show The Twilight Zone).