The Princess and the Warrior (2000)

Rating: B-

Dir: Tom Tykwer
Star: Franka Potente, Benno Furmann, Joachim Krol

I note that the German title actually translates as The Warrior and the Princess – guess this was deemed too Xena-esque for the western markets. Anyone expecting Run Lola Run 2 is in for a surprise…but it might be a pleasant one, as Tykwer unfolds his characters at a leisurely (135 min.) pace, only occasionally recognisable as the same director. Potente, too, is almost an anti-Lola, a shy, gawky psychiatric nurse who becomes obsessed with the crook who saves her life by performing an emergency tracheotomy before vanishing from the scene.

The first ninety minutes might seem sluggish (Meander Lola Meander?), yet both characters and execution are interesting enough to keep you going; the final third repays your patience with a life-changing climax, as her “hero” ends up hiding out in her hospital after a bank job goes terminally wrong. The tension here racks up, and you discover precisely why some of the inmates are locked up. Despite flaws – security in the place seems very lax, with about one locked door – the film wraps things up satisfactorily, and left me with an oddly warm feeling. Dare I say “feel-good movie”?