In “Run Lola Run,” What Is The Meaning of Lola’s Screaming?


Lola (Franka Potente) is a screamer. Her screams are so loud, so shrill, so intense, that objects break around her when she lets one out. Obviously that’s not really happening, so what’s the significance of these shouts?

Run Lola Run (1998) is a film about choices. It’s a film about possibilities. Lola is involved in a sequence of events that goes three different ways - some as the result of her decisions, others thanks to circumstance. But the film is an experiment, and Lola is a character. Every time she screams, she effectively bends the rules of the universe around her. She eliminates the element of chance. She constructs her own certainty. The film kicks off with a quote about how life is a game - when Lola screams, she attempts to break those rules. She tries to make the game end the way she wants.

Nowhere is this detailed with more clarity than the casino scene in Lola’s third sequence. She goes inside without enough money for a 100 Mark chip, but gets one anyway. She’s dressed well below code, but they let her inside. And then she does what’s nearly impossible: bets all her cash on Black 20 - twice - and hits both times. Chance wasn’t an option for Lola. She believed she needed that money or Manni (Moritz Bleibtreu) would die. She orally takes charge of the rules of her world. She screams, and the ball ends up right where she wants it. She screams, and she wins.

“Every time things become tense and it seems like the chaos is near, Lola tries to gain control of the chaos by means of screaming (by releasing the pressure, as it were). The casino sequence intensifies her tension: After missing her father at the bank, this one decisive round of roulette is literally a matter of (Manni’s) life and death: If it is not “20, black”, she won’t get the DM 100.000 and Manni’s life is lost. In that way, her screaming is not just a poor gag to shock the establishment at the casino (which indeed would have been ridiculous), but, quite on the contrary, it is a reappearing theme in the film: every time the chaos is haunting Lola, she tries to influence the chaos /fate by the power of screaming.” - Tykwer Online