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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 August 2016
In this 1998 thriller, Lola (Franka Potente) receives a frantic phone call from her boyfriend, Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu), a small-time criminal who has lost his bosses 100,000 marks because Lola failed to show at a rendezvous. Lola then realises she has 20 minutes before Manni robs a supermarket to get the money.
The basic premise is that Lola relives her 20 minutes in an effort to change the outcome of events. The good things about this are it plays in real time, uses some split screen to illustrate simultaneous action, uses slo-mo all round photography a year before the Matrix and changes small details each time the scene is replayed so it never becomes repetitive. Full of minor details like the baby snatcher, a pushbike thief and many other background characters who all seem irrelevant but who actually all play a part, it’s a novel approach that really pulls this above the average, especially with the dynamic soundtrack.
The main menu offers languages/audio set up [English 5.1 or German 5.1 default], subtitles [English on/off], scene selection, extra features [theatrical trailer, director & cast commentary on/off, Believe -music video, talent profiles] and play. Rated 15, this does have some infrequent swearing [including the F word] but no sex or nudity, although there are some scenes of flashing imagery. If you speak German, view with the German soundtrack or use the English subtitles, as the German sound is clearer and slightly louder and the subtitles are not very intrusive. Whichever you watch, I found the time seemed much shorter than the 90 minutes. Highly recommended if you like films with a time travel twist such as ‘Groundhog Day’ [1993] or ‘Sliding Doors’ [also 1998], Even if the main characters are actually anti-heroes, you just can't help rooting for them.
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on 19 November 2017
INITIAL REACTION (when only fifteen minutes in):
The film's great - but DO NOT pay Amazon £3.50 to "rent" this video in "HD". The quality is abysmal — it's more blocky than Facebook home videos from 2004. Since cinema is a visual medium, and this film depends heavily on its visuals, this insults your equipment — and certainly does not do justice to the legend, "Amazon Prime." I am writing now to see if Amazon can either offer me some sort of a refund or an alternative means of viewing this title. I'll let you know how I get on.

UPDATE: having watched this film to the end, I take it all back.
The dodgy artefacts only occur between 12:32 and 13:48 — after that, the quality is acceptable — and the film is still exceptional.

Completed in 1998 — before the age of ubiquitous cell phones, and blanket surveillance — it reminds one of more innocent, and relatively honest, times. Twenty years ago, Europe was pretty much in accord with the US; citizens were free to move around anonymously, unmolested by computerised surveillance; the world — even Russians — sought to be more like us.

Now, more than even then, it makes me think about choice and chance:
Just three years after this film won all its plaudits, thanks to greed at highest level, NSA spooks shut down a relatively cheap, efficient and astoundingly effective counter-terrorism surveillance programme (one entirely respectful of US citizens' constitutional rights; able to pinpoint suspicious activity in real time). Without that deliberate oversight, agents would have foreseen, and presumably prevented, the attacks on the World Trade Centre and Pentagon just three weeks later —attacks which shocked the "free world" and which, in turn, empowered NeoCons to create a police state and to take America and Britain into an unjustified and unpardonable war foreign war.

Thus the tiniest handful of stupid, amoral decisions in August 2001 (compounded by Wall Street's hunger for Federal investment in Private Military Corporations) ultimately blew what remained of the West's international moral capital — elevating China, empowering Putin, even indirectly precipitating the financial meltdown of 2007/8. You could even make the argument that all of this was precipitated by the discounting of a few "pregnant chads" in a swing state in 2000.

If they could set the clocks back, would Washington and their snoops choose more discrete policy?

"What a difference," indeed, "a day makes."
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 27 October 2013
I saw this film on television and looked it up on Amazon and decided that at this price, I ought to buy it to add to my collection. It's a really clever film with terrific production values which makes it drive along at great pace as the sound-track pulsates along in tension-raising rhythms.

Lola's boyfriend has lost 100,000 marks (this is 1999, pre-euro days) belonging to a gangster. Manni is given 20 minutes to get the money back to him and Lola moves into action to get the money back to him, dealing with one obstacle after another.

The director plays many tricks with the viewer, freeze-framing at key points, re-running vital incidents with optional outcomes, and generally driving poor Lola along at fantastic pace leaving this viewer at least wondering how Franka Potente (Lola) coped with all that running! Set in Berlin, the city looks suitably bleak and ugly - the Lola and Manni look very European too, in an edgy sort of way which is a nice change from more conventionally beautiful American actresses/actors.

I agree with other reviewers - select the option to watch it in German with subtitles - the dubbing on the English version is terrible.

The music is available on a well-known music streaming service (with a green circular icon) and I play it over and over again (presumable generating some unexpected royalties for the creator.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 23 July 2014
The gist of this German film is that Moritz Bleibtreu plays a minor player in a criminal gang who, due to his own incompetence, has to find 100,000DMs in twenty minutes. As one character in the film remarks, “Well, we all have our bad days.”

The film was written and directed (and, as usual, partly scored) by Tom Tykwer (‘Perfume’). My DVD includes a commentary by him in English along with the female lead, Franka Potente. In the commentary, as well as explaining the complex filming techniques employed, he points out how his film turns normal cinematic timescales on their head. Normally a film will take a long period of time and reduce it to ninety minutes, but his takes twenty minutes and expands it.

It’s well-constructed but ultimately a silly but brilliant conceit: of course, if Franka Potente’s character can reverse time, why does she not reverse it to the point where her moped is stolen and thus preventing the whole ensuing enterprise? Still, the seventy-seven minutes the film lasts are entertaining enough.
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on 1 April 2017
This German phenomenon is the definition of unexpected genius. The film works brilliantly, almost in a way it shouldn't, with epically bizarre editing and wild cinematography! The whole thing is completed by the funky house/dance music and is wrapped up in just over an hour. I would recommend this film to anyone, despite it not being quite the "truly original" idea it set out to be but more from the sheer enjoyment and appreciation of the production behind it that so many will find when watching this.
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on 10 March 2009
This film runs! For me it worked at two entirely different levels. One may take the film as a simple action packed love story in which you experiment with alternative variations of the story line. Even at this level the film's concept worked for me, with the wonderful intricacies of human-human relations to make the tweaks in the story totally believable. However, there was another level at which one could appreciated the film. First I have to come clean and tell you that I am a research physicist by background and with this cap on the film came to life in a far deeper form. In our modern physics insight into our sub-atomic world we have become aware of the fact that our concept of space-time may be governed by tiny variations in the environment. Observation of an event or even small variations of path or timing may radically change the final outcome of what is observed. What the film served to illustrate is a beautiful allegory of just such a process. I originally saw this film in Germany and I was overjoyed to find it has not only been dubbed into English very well, so allowing a wider audiance to appreciate this great film, they also get the added bonus of enjoying it in high definition. I can heartily recommend the film.
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on 29 June 2015
I have loved this film ever since my German teacher showed it to my class in fifth year. It has a clever plot, and explores how one small decision can alter the course of a person's life. I have always been fascinated with this topic, and therefore I was fascinated by this movie. There is an English dubbed version available on the DVD if you are not a fan of subtitles, although I would recommend watching the original German version with English subtitles, as the voices for the characters in the dubbed version sound a bit out of character.
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on 10 May 2011
It has similarities with "Sliding Doors" or "Groundhog Day". The same day is repeated several times with the same occurrences but different endings during the day.
The film is well named, Lola is running for at least half the film! All I can say is that if Franka Potente enters the next Olympic Marathon... Paula Radcliffe has no chance!
It is an odd, quirky film. After the first days repeat, I almost turned it off. But, stick with it.
There are many emotions and it kicks the ideas box in your brain a couple of times.
It has a happy ending and is more believable than many Hollywood films I have had to suffer watching.
It is hardly an Oscar rated film, but it is worth watching. Maybe it will grow on you...!
German made in German language, but one track is decently dubbed in English. Plus subtitles in English only, are available.
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on 15 November 2016
We're studying this in my a level film class, and majority of the class didn't like the film but I absolutely love it! I had to buy it to force my family to watch it with me, however they were just confused and didn't really understand the whole concept. This film is a really active viewing experience, not something to fall asleep to! It's constantly engaging and has you rooting for Lola and Manni throughout the film. Highly recommend to any film student, or someone looking for something a bit different.
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on 16 May 2017
Good service. An outstandingly original piece of work .A rebellious girl trying desperately to aid her boyfriend out of his bad choices. Interesting as the possiblities of alternate outcomes are played out, showing what may result by way of minor details of but seconds, and 'luck', good or bad can effect a result.
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