A young cartoonist is forced to grow up faster than she’d like when an unplanned pregnancy threatens to upset her party-heavy lifestyle in this subversive Norwegian comedy.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2021
“Astronaut, beer-taster, comic artist – these are just some of the things Rakel aspires to be. Mother is not on the list, so it’s a shock when the 23-year-old graphic design dropout (Kristine Kujath Thorp) discovers she is six-and-a-half months pregnant. According to her doctor, not everyone gets the belly. Rakel doodles her unborn baby wearing a Zorro mask, nicknaming it Ninjababy after its stealthy arrival.
Directed by the Norwegian filmmaker Yngvild Sve Flikke and based on Inga Sætre’s graphic novel Fallteknikk, this witty comedy is interspersed with Sætre’s rude, funny, David Shrigleyesque animations. Any tweeness is tempered by the film’s raunchy sense of humour and frank attitude towards poo, piss and periods.
Ninjababy’s potential fathers include aikido instructor Mos (Nader Khademi), a sweet and attentive one-night stand who “smelled like butter”, and the less eligible “Dick Jesus” (Arthur Berning). Rakel and Mos discover their nerdiness is well matched and a romance begins to blossom... But the film is less a romcom than it is a coming-of-age movie about slacker Rakel finally being forced to grow up. What’s subversive is her ambivalence about motherhood, unchanged even after she gives birth.” — Simran Hans, The Guardian
“Thorp delivers a winning, rich performance, finding nuance in a complex character, but never afraid to poke fun at Rakel... Ninjababy might have snuck into her heart, and Flikke’s film seems poised to do the same for her very lucky audience.” — Kate Erbland, Indiewire