Main and secondary figures

Distinguishing between main and secondary characters and their function for the plot

That Lola is probably the most important main character and protagonist in Run Lola Run is already made clear by the title of the film. But other characters with their personalities, emotions, actions and developments also play an important role in this film.
When looking at the ensemble of characters in a film, one can first distinguish between main and secondary characters.

Main characters are the most important protagonists in the film and demand a high degree of attention from the audience. Within this group, the protagonist is the key figure and the focus of the whole film. The protagonist of a story does not necessarily have to be a single person. Couples or constellations of three also frequently appear.
Of course, the main character(s) also need an interesting opponent who tries to prevent them reaching their goals by all means possible and against whom they can measure themselves. How exciting or interesting a film is can often be judged by how interesting these antagonists are.
While the Protagonist must be a character, an antagonistic force can also express itself in the impersonal forces of nature.

Secondary characters complement the meaning of the main characters and their actions. They characterise the theme and environment more closely and breathe life into the plot.
According to the importance of their role, a distinction can be made between episodic and auxiliary figures, figurants and extras. Episodic figures only appear in individual scenes and auxiliary figures take on a supporting function in relation to the main character. Figurants are figures who speak little or not at all (e.g. domestic staff). Extras fill the background and do not intervene directly in the plot.

Task 1

  1. Arrange the given characters according to their function, into main and secondary characters. Divide the secondary figures into episodic figures, auxiliary figures, figurants and extras.
  2. Who is the strongest antagonist of Lola and Manni? A person or an antagonistic force? Generate a note card to write down your decision and briefly explain it.
  3. Are there any figures that change their function between Lola’s three runs through Berlin? Explain.
Note cards
1st run
2nd run
3rd run
  1. Explain any problems you may have encountered when classifying the figures of Run Lola Run. What can these problems indicate about the film's belonging to certain film genres?