Run Lola Run was always going to be a hard act to follow. However, director Tom Tykwer has taken some of the concerns of his earlier hitothe roles that chance and fate play in our lives and the self-sacrifice that love inspiresoto create a film which, though more sedately paced and reflective, is no less mesmerising than its predecessor.
Franka Potente, the lively female star of Lola, here plays Sissi, a psychiatric nurse whose life is dominated by the patients in her care. By chance she meets Bodo (Benno Furmann), a disturbed ex-solder given to involuntary tears. Typically, Tykwer mounts the couple’s first encounter in the form of a spectacular accident. Bobo is fleeing from the police and hides under a truck, where he finds Sissi struggling for her life after being knocked down by the same vehicle. Having saved Sissi’s life, Bobo disappears. Tracking down her saviour once she’s recovered from her injuries, Sissi finds that Bobo is a hostile individual who has no desire to see her again. Just when Sissi’s hopes seem dashed, fate throws the pair together again.
The theme of escape is prominent throughout the film. Bodo is an outsider who is continuously on the run, while Sissi’s accident jolts her out of her isolation and sets her off on a romantic quest. Going beyond the mere cleverness of Run Lola Run, Tykwer treats his material with more gravitas here, bravely pursuing his themes into the realms of the symbolic. There are still flashes of the technical bravura and sheer fun in creating stylish imagery that made Lola such a crowd-pleaser, but The Princess and the Warrior is a far more thoughtful and restrained work.
Dolby digital stereo.