Directed by Neeraj Ghaywan, Juice is a 14 min short film by Rotal Stag barrel select large short film about the identity of a woman in Indian households.
Manju and her husband held a get together of around 5-7 families on a very hot day. All the men are enjoying their time by having drinks and snacks sitting in front of a cooler. They are having chats on random topics like politics, business etc. Their wives are busy in the kitchen cooking food and the children are playing video games in a separate room.
It is very hot in the kitchen and all the ladies are badly sweating so Manju decides to take out the table fan so that it can help them, but the fan doesn’t work so she asks her husband to have a look at it and if possible repair it. To this, the husband responds that he will, although he doesn’t. His husband constantly asks Manju to serve some or the other snacks to the guest, in all that situation she even burns her finger by mistake. Manju asks her friend to give her a cup so that she can serve the maid tea, so her friend gives her a steel cup instead of the normal teacup. On the other side, one of those ladies asks a girl who is playing video games with her friends to serve food to all those boys. Manju tries to get the burnt food out of the pan and her husband constantly calls her to get the food. At last, she switches off the gas, takes a glass of juice and chair and sits in front of the cooler where all the men are sitting. Everybody stops talking.
It has been said that films are the mirror of society, and in this case it surely is. It is wonderful to see how in just 14 min 39secs the film covers so many issues.
1) All the men are chilling, having drinks and snacks, sitting in front of the cooler and on the other side, ladies are cooking food for them in the kitchen and sweating. Well, this scenario may seem normal to many of us, as this is what happens, this is the reality. Women are supposed to work in the kitchen even if it’s called a “get together”.
2) The pregnant lady is also sent to the kitchen by her husband to “help” others and try out new dishes which she has recently learned. There is no mercy shown on even the pregnant lady.
3) The small girl is almost excluded from the group of all the children just because she is a girl. She is also told to serve them food. This may seem a very small issue but it’s actually not. Girls throughout the country are conditioned in such a way that they also follow the norms made by society and not raise an objection against those. Those boys could have also served food if asked, but the irony is that they are never asked. This is how they become the same as their fathers in future.
4) Men who actually stress on the fact that women are made for kitchen work and they are made for all the other so-called “hard tasks” also do not follow what they say. In this case, Manju asks her husband to help her with the table fan to which he nodded but he never did. It shows the hypocritic nature of some people who cannot follow what they believe in.
5) One more important issue has been shown in the film which is about caste discrimination. The maid is asked to have tea in a steel cup instead of the normal ceramic cup. This is the problem of untouchability which is still alive in the country. Those ladies are themselves discriminated by their husbands and then they discriminated the maid from them.
The film shows the actual scenario of women in a typical society. It is about how partiality is done with women.