Scott Hardie | November 9, 2001
Last night Kelly, Jackie, Steve and I went to see "The Princess and the Warrior." It primarily interested me because I heard it was a follow-up to "Run Lola Run," with the same director, same cast, same themes, and same style. Well, I was sort of right.

It did have the same director, Tom Tykwer, who (I agree with Ebert) is definitely an artist. He knows exactly what he's doing with every shot. Franka Potente again played the female lead, and several actors from Lola returned, though few were recognizeable. The main theme concerning the meaning of coincidences in life was again explored, but it was explored in a much different way. The biggest change was the style: Lola was charged with kinetic energy and burst off the screen, while Princess is slowed down almost to the point of M. Night Shyamalan's "Unbreakable." It's a dull movie in which characters move slowly, as though there's some thick, clear liquid between them instead of air, preventing them from moving like normal people. Is Tykwer trying to make the movie seem like a dream? Quite possibly. I don't think the speed is a bad thing; I'm merely describing it.

Princess was good. If you love Lola, and just about anyone who's seen it loves it, then you're likely to enjoy Princess as well. It asks a lot more of the viewer, intellectually and artistically, but feels the same way about its characters and contains the same visual flair. (There's one amazing shot early on when the male lead hangs upside-down from the top of the screen, looking at the camera, which slowly arcs around in a circle behind his back, showing that he is looking down at a road from an overpass. Tykwer finds the beautiful shots in moments like these, or pays a masterful cinematographer to do it for him.) The visual motifs in the movie, from television screens to the color yellow to bubbly water, are nicely implemented and unobtrusive. The music is also a pleasure. My only significant complaint is that there are some unanswered questions, such as who the woman at the beginning is, and what happened to the blind patient. Princess is a gem of a movie, like a dream that you can explore for two hours. I recommend it.


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