I don’t want to give much away, but here’s a short synopsis of Ninjababy: When Rakel (Kristine Kujath Thorp) is surprised to find out that she’s six months pregnant, her world is turned upside down. Between figuring out who the father is and a new relationship sparking, she also knows that she is absolutely not ready to be a mother.
I can always appreciate a film that knows exactly what it wants to be, able to do everything that it aimed to accomplished.
I know this unwanted pregnancy genre has become somewhat bloated in recent years, but I love the conversations that it brings to the forefront. Making everyone face the truth by dealing with the reality of the good and bad that come along with finding out you’re pregnant, contraception, adoption process, and abortion. All so difficult to juggle, particularly when there’s a great amount of humor involved. Just as in real life, no two stories of this are the same. It has all the characteristics of an indie-pregnancy-drama you may have seen before, but it doesn’t feel redundant in what it is telling.
A few minutes in, you’ll probably draw comparisons to Never Rarely Sometimes Always, Juno, Unpregnant, Plan B, or other pregnancy-related films. While the juxtaposition is valid, they’re truly distinctive.
The whole “ninja baby” concept is really a unique and comical idea, and I’m glad I didn’t know more about that going in. Because I think the titular character adds a great sense of humor to the story, I won’t spoil it for you, either.
Tackling the uncomfortable nature of its situations head on makes it feel all the more real. This is a movie, of course, but you don’t have the cliches that so often dominate mainstream media when it comes to pregnancies. They’re not one-size-fits-all, which you’ll learn quite literally in Ninjababy, and they’re not all glowing, glorious photographs.
The mixed media usage is done very tastefully, in my opinion. Sometimes, I think films rely too much on quirky animated drawings, especially when the characters break that barrier and start communicating with the animations. Here, though, the comic book drawings feel necessary and relevant by finding a way to give purpose to bringing in the animation without using it as a crutch. Our main character here, Rakel, is a comic artist herself, so they that in thematically quite well.
Plot twists and moments of insanity are hiding around every corner, it seems, but they mirror reality in that life remains unexpected. Great performances from the cast all around, particularly Rakel (played by Kristine Thorpe, who should be a star) with such chemistry between everyone. Is it a rom-com? Is it a drama? Is it a comedy? Is it animated? Yes. But that’s part of the appeal, too. The fine line it rides between these genres, switching back and forth without feeling too abrupt, are a big part of why you’ll love it. Don’t sleep on this Norwegian film once it gets released.
The comedic timing in this couldn’t be better. The balance is struck perfectly with the dramatic nature of the story supported by its realistic humor. It such a tender and direct story that gets right to the point.
For all my music fans out there, here is a brief sneak peek at some of the songs featured in Ninjababy. A full-length “Super Soundtrack” feature will follow when the film gets its wide release, so stay tuned!
- “My Blood” by Pom Poko
- “Flowerdust” by Hajk
- “Feel Fine” by Emilie Nicolas
- “Hybel” by Frøkedal
- “let’s blow up our feelings with dynamite” by Emma Steinbakken
Ninjababy was directed by Yngvild Sve Flikke, is a Norwegian film,and has a runtime of 103 minutes.