3 | Film review
The director of Run Lola Run sprints in circles (again).
Never shy of seeming arch and hipstery, Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer sets his new narrative contraption in a nexus of Berlin intelligentsia. The film is tangled up in the romantic cross-purposes of a bulldozing “public intellectual” (Sophie Rois), a sensitive “art engineer” (Sebastian Schipper) and a bi stem-cell scientist (Devid Striesow). A fashionably pansexual love-triangle tale rolling downhill toward an inevitable cuddle puddle, the film is nonetheless tricked out with numerological coincidences, spiritual visitations, animations, split-screen montages and Bergmanesquedream sequences.
At this point, we expect no less from Tykwer. We also expect, and get, flash over profundity or real passion. Certainly an opportunity to dig deeper is lost with Rois, as a high-strung, bed-hopping, anger-wired talk-show brainiac resembling a cross between Rita Tushingham and a harpy eagle. She’s a volatile character we’d love to see melt down or blow up, but the movie’s developments get all circular and ironic—even when it comes to cancer. Heavy-handed offerings are made about the pliability of gender identities, and how that somehow parallels the mutability of stem cells. Slick as spilled oil, Tykwer’s movie massages our liberal-arts-educated egos (a lot more than you can say about most new releases) but never dares to be memorable.