In this follow-up to his first international hit, Run Lola Run, writer/director Tom Tykwer spins an offbeat love story between a disturbed army vet named Bodo Benno Fürmann and an equally unbalanced asylum nurse, Sissi (Lola's Franka Potente). Compared to its highly stylized predecessor, this film is timid, which is probably why it proved such a disappointment on the international festival circuit. But it still has much to recommend it as a worthy addition to a growing canon of works by Germany's hottest young auteur. Shot in Tykwer's native Wuppertal -- a misty city in the Ruhr valley known for its peculiar "hanging trains" -- the setting lends itself well to the telling of a romance that is both moody and absurd. Maintaining a balance between those two elements is Tykwer's goal throughout. When he succeeds, the results are surprisingly poignant -- like the unforgettable scene in which Sissi becomes enamored of Bodo while he administers a tracheotomy. But there are elements handled with less dexterity that come off as misplaced humor, such as the backstory dealing with the death of Bodo's girlfriend, who was killed in a gas station explosion. Despite the art-house flourishes, Tykwer keeps the film together as a cohesive tale of love and loss, of trauma and healing. More importantly, as the title suggests, he even manages to make something new of the classic fairy tale romance.
by Connor McMadden review