“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
― Mother Teresa
Ask yourself, “What are the results of my daily actions and choices?”
Now this is a review of Run Lola Run, more of less… maybe less.
Run Lola Run, a German film released in 1998 as Lola rennt, made only about $7 million dollars in North America and less than $23 million total worldwide. Rated R for language and violence, it’s a small film that you probably didn’t see.
It was released in America in 1999 with subtitles and stars German actress Franka Potente as Lola. A couple of years later Potente co-starred with Matt Damon in the first of the Bourne films, The Bourne Identity (2002).
I saw both Run Lola Run and The Bourne Identity on DVD but I don’t remember which one I saw first. Franka Potente and Matt Damon share great chemistry in The Bourne Identity, and that film is listed as #14 on my ‘All Time Top 25 Favorite Films’ list.
After recently watching Run Lola Run again, I realize now that it was probably my enjoyment of Bourne that gave me a greater fondness for Run Lola Run than it deserved.
Don’t take that wrong. Run Lola Run is fine entertainment, and I enjoyed watching it again this past week, but a dozen years later I guess it just didn’t quite feel right on this viewing.
The story essentially covers just 20 minutes in the life of Lola, and her boyfriend Manni. To make money Manni is a ‘courier,’ this time transporting and delivering stolen jewels to a contact for cash, then delivering the cash to a local Crime Boss. The set up includes Manni loosing the money he’s to hand over to these criminals. What is he going to do now? They’ll kill him!
That’s basically the set up to the story at the beginning. Then there’s the ‘core’ of the story with a particular ending, which repeats three times, changing as different reactions and decisions are made, producing a new conclusion.
I enjoyed the way the film was made and how it transitions from one ending into the new version of the story. The music is a cool kind of techno sound that fits the imagery well enough. And Lola and Manny are likeable characters.
Also, I like how the movie shows what might happen, when with a different action or choice here or there, there is a domino affect not only on the outcome, but on many things along the way.
Still, the film is loaded with people making bad choices. Pretty much the only good choice (kind of) is Lola trying to figure out how to save her boyfriend’s life. But how did she make the choice to be with an incompetent, low level, stolen goods courier in the first place?
A movie that in a way presents a similar idea, and it happens to be my all time favorite film, is It’s A Wonderful Life. In that movie George Bailey, throughout his life, makes choices that derail his hopes and dreams, for the betterment of others.
Both Run Lola Run and It’s A Wonderful Life remind me that our actions have consequences, for good and bad. Maybe it might be wise to ponder those things a bit before we surge forward into this too often hurried life. Little do we think about the possible results some of our actions or words might produce.
We don’t think about a particular choice we make, a step we take, a response to something and how it can completely change things in our lives.
And I’m not just thinking of some ‘monumental’ action. It’s just as much the small things.
Mother Theresa said, “I will never understand all the good that a simple smile can accomplish.”
It won’t be until the other side of heaven that we find out the impact of some of the actions we’ve taken. And we’ll be surprised at things we did, some minor kindnesses or helpful action that turned out to be monumental and even life changing in the lives of others.
I guess this “movie review” has become more of a word of encouragement. I hope to encourage you in thinking that acts of kindness, however great or small, can carry immense weight in the lives of those you come in contact with every day.
Sometimes it’s just a simple gesture, and sometimes it’s a bit more. Sometimes it’s convenient, and sometimes it’s not. But I hope this causes you to think how even simple things you say or do can have a great impact. I know I am beginning to think that way more.
“I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.”
– Jefferson Smith, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)