Director: Yngvild Sve Flikke
Writer: Johan Fasting, Yngvild Sve Flikke, Inga Sætre
Cast: Kristine Kujath Thorp, Arthur Berning, Nader Khademi, Tora Christine Dietrichson, Silya Nymoen, Herman Tømmeraas
Seen on: 17.12.2022
Rakel (Kristine Kujath Thorp) is young, chaotic and a little lost. But she has time to figure things out yet. Like whether she actually likes Mos (Nader Khademi) or just that he smells so deliciously like butter. But after a couple of strange changes in her behavior, her best friend and roommate Ingid (Tora Christine Dietrichson) convinces her to take a pregnancy test. And it is positive. Rakel is shocked – she is on the pill after all – and definitely not ready to be a mom. Mos must be the dad, so the two of them make their way to the doctor to get an abortion. But there, Rakel has an even bigger shock: she is actually six months along. Abortion is out of the question, Mos is not the dad and she has to decide what to do now.
Ninjababy was a thoroughly charming, sweet and funny film. It is also a very honest and absolutely insightful look at the decision-making process about being a parent. I really adored it.
Ninjababy feels a bit revolutionary in its approach, in more than one way. (It reminded me of Obvious Child in that.) For one, it doesn’t force motherhood on Rakel. She doesn’t want to be a mom, and she never really wavers in her choice. It’s just not that simple to find a solution. And it is not that easy to realize it about herself. When the baby is in danger, she worries about them, she takes care of them, but in the end, her love for them doesn’t change the fact that she doesn’t want motherhood in the classic sense. Then there is the how of her pregnancy and her not-realizing it: Rakel engages in casual sex, but she does take the pill. Only she takes the pill continuously, so she never gets her period anymore. It’s a refreshing mix of her being responsible and engaging in some risky behavior, plus her fair share of obliviousness (maybe).
This mix is reflected in everything Rakel does. She is young and carefree, and one might get the feeling that she would rather ignore everything. But she takes charge of the situation. In an unconventional way, maybe, but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Thorp (who recently impressed me in Syk Pike) gives her a wonderful sense of energy, but also makes her vulnerabilities very clear.
Plus, the film is simply funny, and not just when the baby shows up as a cartoon that keeps following Rakel around. It had me laughing out loud, and also crying a little because it never uses humor to shy away from the emotions of the situation. Also, Mos is the cutest (props to Khademi to have him still feel real and not too good to be true) and the romance between him and Rakel warmed me to the bones.
In short, it’s a film that felt freeing and empowering and had me leave the cinema with a spring in my step and love in my heart. There definitely should be more films like it.
Summarizing: an instant favorite.