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In the third iteration of Lola trying to procure the money Manni requires in Run Lola Run (1998), the guard of the bank where Lola's father works exclaims "You've come at last, dear." to Lola. What exactly is the relationship between the two?

Also, how exactly does Lola manage to save his life later in the movie? Is there any sorta explanation for it in the movie?

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    The line (in German) is "Da bist du ja endlich, schatz". "Dear" you might use in colloquial English just to refer to a young woman but "Darling" would be far more common for a daughter or loved one...
    – Valorum
    Sep 16, 2023 at 18:30

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The script is deliberately ambiguous here, but there are hints suggesting that the guard may be Lola's biological father.

In particular:

  • The man Lola knows as her father straight out tells her that he is not her biological father and her real father is unaware of her birth. While he is not fully reliable as a source, it is credible that he is telling the truth, as his entire arc revolves around him having to decide whether to leave his family and start a new life with Jutta (who is pregnant with a child that is not his).
  • The guard is the only character in the bank that is somewhat supportive of Lola. In the final segment, when Lola misses her father at the bank, the guard greets her with the words "Da bist du ja endlich, Schatz" (thanks to Valorum for pointing this out) after which they share a moment of intense silence. "Schatz" here does sound a little too intimate for the German ear, even though the guard does talk to Lola as if she was just a little girl throughout the movie. It is a form of addressing that is often reserved for very close friends or family members. The heartbeat in this scene foreshadows the scene in the medical transport later.
  • When Lola is in the transport she tells the medic "Ich gehör zu ihm." - which can be understood as "I'm with him" or as "I belong to him".

Magical realism is a fundamental part of the movie: Lola is able to rewind time by the sheer power of her will when she gets stuck at the end of the first and second segment. She recalls things from the earlier segments, like how to handle the gun in the second segment. She is able to win at the casino despite the overwhelming odds. How is she able to do this? She is doing what she does because of her love for Manni. The power of love allows her to overcome the obstacles of the physical world. This is the central theme of the movie.

It's that same magical power that saves the guard's life when she holds his hand in the transporter.

The script does leave the exact nature of their relationship ambiguous. In the first segment when Lola's father reveals the fact that she is not his biological daughter, the guard is standing right next to them and does not acknowledge the fact. Could it be that he does not know that he is her father? Is the scene in the third segment when they share a prolonged moment of silence and intense eye contact the first time he realizes that Lola is his daughter? Or is Lola simply fond of him because he always treated her well and that fondness is enough to have her save his life in the end? Or is it all just one big coincidence and he would have survived either way, even if Lola was not there? The film leaves this up to the viewer's interpretation.

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