BluRay/DVD Reviews


By • Apr 10th, 2000 •

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Sony Pictures Classics

‘Jeden Tag, jede Sekunde triffst Du eine Entscheidung, die Dein Leben verändern kann’
(‘Every second of every day you’re faced with a decision that can change your life’)

Franka Potente (THE BOURNE IDENTITY, BLOW) plays the flame haired Lola, a streetwise Berliner who has just twenty minutes to come up with a plan to save her boyfriend Manni’s life. Manni has done a deal with a local hood to whom he must deliver 100,000 Deutsche marks, but stupid Manni has left the money on a subway train, where it has been discovered by a tramp. Manni knows if he turns up without the cash, in twenty minutes, he’s a dead man. His phone call to Lola sets her off on a frantic race across the city to come up with the cash. She meets various obstacles, characters and scenarios during her flight including her Bank Manager father who refuses to give her the money. She finally arrives at the rendezvous too late to stop the now panicking Manni from robbing a nearby store. The police turn up on the scene, armed and in force, with disastrous results for the couple – especially Lola.

Then the phone rings again. It’s Manni. He’s got just twenty minutes to come up with 100,000 Dm or he’s a dead man. The race starts once more.

This frenetic and original film is a fascinating and absorbing study of cause and effect where we see the events of those twenty minutes unfold three times with three radically different outcomes. Characters rise and fall in prominence, and we as the audience learn more about almost everyone through watching the three alternate stories than the characters actually know about themselves from their own single perspective.

Potente as Lola is mesmerisingly heroic and director Tykwer’s use of frenzied and chaotic live action mixed with clever cartoon animation and rapid still photography galleries, accompanied by a pulse pounding techno beat, shows us, in what is only his third feature, that he is totally at home with and in control of his medium.

This is a movie you need to watch more than once to pick up all of the all important threads and is one of the best and most innovative German films, if not one of Europe’s, to come through in recent years. For those of you averse to subtitles there is an English dialogue track, but to get the real spirit of the movie and feel of the locale you should watch it in the original German, and to be honest, the dialogue plays a minor role in this fast paced visual roller coaster ride.

Nominated in 1999 by both the British Academy and the National Board of Review as Best Foreign Language Film and #2 Best Foreign Film of the Year respectively, it will be much imitated and simply cries out to be remade Stateside.

This folks is a definite, definite must see.

English Commentary by Tom Tykwer and Franka Potente
Music Video ‘I Wish’ by Franka Potente
Languages: English/German
(Details refer to the Region 2 DVD release)

Franka Potente – Lola
Moritz Bleibtreu – Manni
Herbert Knaup -Vater
Nina Petri – Frau Hansen
Armin Rohde – Herr Schuster
Joachim Król – Norbert von Au

Director: Tom Tykwer
Producer: Stefan Arndt
Producer (WDR): Gebhard Henke
Producer (ARTE): Andreas Schreitmüller
Executive Producer: Maria Köpf
Line Producer: Maria Köpf
Original Music by Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek, Franka Potente (theme song “I Wish” and others), Tom Tykwer

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