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2021 SXSW Film Festival Review – Ninjababy

Ninjababy, 2021.

Directed by Yngvild Sve Flikke.
Starring Kristine Kujath Thorp, Arthur Berning, Nader Khademi, Tora Christine Dietrichson, Silya Nymoen and Herman Tømmeraas.



An unplanned being pregnant leaves an novice cartoonist with some robust selections to make.


“Has a automobile. Has sperm with superpowers. Smells like butter.” No, not the contents of a Tinder bio that may make most of us run for the hills — to not point out wish to drop our cellphone into a particularly deep vat of acid — however the kind of off-kilter dialogue to be discovered within the sophomore characteristic from Norwegian director Yngvild Sve Flikke.

The above quote serves as a working example of the attract of Ninjababy: a unusual comedy a couple of hard-partying novice illustrator who unexpectedly falls pregnant. Its propensity to take a story street less-travelled, its steadfast refusal to be sure by the shackles of conference shortly makes the movie the kind of wacky, crowd-pleasing indie flick followers of Booksmart and Eighth Grade will certainly lap up.

However Ninjababy is one thing altogether totally different. Particularly as a result of, in contrast to the universality that underpins Olivia Wilde and Bo Burnham’s Excessive College set coming-of-agers, Flikke’s movie feels much more particular. That is the story of a really specific occasion, a couple of very specific battle of feelings, affecting somebody at a really specific interval of their life. It’s a situation that many ladies, and certainly many males, can have contemplated again and again however by no means really skilled: what would you do when you had been abruptly advised you’re going to have a baby?


For Rakel (an impressive Kristine Kujath Thorp), a inventive, spontaneous if barely cynical twenty-something whose bed room partitions and flooring are adorned with the merchandise of her spare-of-the-moment scribbles, a finite reply is difficult to come back by. That’s due to all her future plans — astronaut; forest-keeper; cartoonist — being a mom is actually not certainly one of them. So when she finds out a fetus is rising within her, and he or she’s a lot additional alongside than first thought, Rakel is shortly compelled into making some robust life choices.

With authorized abortion off the desk, she is seemingly left with two choices: both she places the kid up for adoption or embraces the accountability alongside the newborn’s father: a gawky fuckbuddy nicknamed ‘Dick Jesus’ (Arthur Berning), who, whereas possessing an impressively-sized appendage, additionally owns a poster with the Son of God clutching a spliff and the caption ‘Blaze the Lord’. In different phrases, she has completely no thought what to do.

And it’s via Rakel’s confusion and indecision that Ninjababy rings splendidly, and raucously true. Amidst the painfully awkward narrative contrivances – turning as much as an Aikido lesson taught by somebody you lately shared a passionate one-night stand with — and the multitude of spit-out-your-drink zingers from Flikke, Johan Fasting and Inga H. Sætre’s script — “I ought to have simply let him cum on my face” — Ninjababy displays the mess and uncertainty of actual life. The style rule e book, if ever there was such a factor, is properly and really torn to shreds.


Consequently, Ninjababy is each absurd and poignant: its tone pivoting often between irreverence and pathos. It is usually immensely playful. Animated interludes — Rakel’s art work dropped at life — ceaselessly interrupt the motion, however hardly ever do they distract or diminish. In actual fact, such segments improve the movie, imbuing the story with better depth and attraction. Very like Fleabag’s fourth wall breaking, they function insightful — and infrequently hilarious — home windows into a personality’s internal ideas and emotions.

This actually is okay work all spherical. From the performances of Kujath Thorp, Berning and Nader Khademi, whose Warhammer-loving Mos brings a lot of the movie’s coronary heart, to Inga Sætre’s drawings, to Fikke, Fasting and their agency dedication to reality, Ninjababy efficiently communicates the trials and tribulations of being a younger mom with nuance, wit and greater than a bit mischief. At which level we arrive on the nice irony in all of this: here’s a movie about parenthood that you simply actually shouldn’t watch together with your dad and mom.

Flickering Fable Score – Movie: ★ ★ ★ ★/ Film: ★ ★ ★ ★

George Nash is a contract movie journalist. Observe him on Twitter via @_GeorgeNash for film musings, puns and cereal chatter.


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