September 08, 2021
Despite kooky touches including a talking foetus, this is an insightful look at a young woman’s life
Ninjababy review – uncompromisingly brilliant comedy about unwanted pregnancy
This hilarious and sneakily brilliant comedy from Norway begins like half a dozen unwanted-pregnancy movies you might already have seen. Rakel (Kristine Kujath Thorp) is a 23-year-old graphic design dropout who has not remotely got her life together yet. When she discovers she’s pregnant, she books a termination: “This is Norway. I can get an abortion.” The baby’s father goes with her, endearingly dorky aikido teacher Mos (Nader Khademi), with whom she had a one-night stand. At the clinic Rakel is appalled to discover she’s actually seven months gone – she’s had no symptoms, no bump, no nausea. She’s beyond the limit. Mos is out of the picture as daddy.
Director Yngvild Sve Flikke, who co-wrote the script based on an acclaimed graphic novel by Inga Sætre, craftily leads us down the garden path of happily-ever-after endings. Oooh, what if Rakel and Mos could make a go of it anyway? Maybe she could raise the baby with soulmate best friend flatmate Ingrid (Tora Christine Dietrichson)? But at its heart Flikke’s film has unapologetic, uncompromising things to say about Women choosing – or choosing not to ­– have children. She’s less interested in nurturing Rakel’s maternal side than her creative life. Rakel is furious at her unabortable baby. “Thinks it can chill here for nine months and sneak out,” she fumes. She doodles it – a scrawny ugly foetus with a black mask – and calls it Ninjababy. He comes to life on the screen, funny and needy.
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