‘Juice’ Is an Unflinching Stare at Everyday Male Entitlement
Shefali Shah’s silence speaks volumes in <i>Juice.</i>
Shefali Shah’s silence speaks volumes in Juice.(Photo courtesy: YouTube)

‘Juice’ Is an Unflinching Stare at Everyday Male Entitlement

Warning: Spoiler Alert!

Neeraj Ghaywan’s short film Juice takes an unyielding and cold look at the way patriarchy operates in our homes. What really makes Ghaywan’s short leave an impact is that he places his story around a “normal” and “everyday” occasion of a middle-class family’s get-together.

Director Neeraj Ghaywan skilfully uses sound and visual to demarcate the traditional spaces assigned to men and women.
Director Neeraj Ghaywan skilfully uses sound and visual to demarcate the traditional spaces assigned to men and women.
(Photo courtesy: YouTube)

The filmmaker skilfully uses sound and visual to demarcate the traditional spaces assigned to men and women within our homes and then goes on to illustrate the differential environment within that space, before getting his protagonist to break the glass ceiling.

A malfunctioning fan vs the breezy air cooler.
A malfunctioning fan vs the breezy air cooler.
(Photo courtesy: YouTube)

Shefali Shah, as always, hits it out of the park with her stellar performance. Her silence speaks volumes. “Diaper badalna hai toh woh hami ko karna padega na? Logon ke haath se toh remote chhoot jayenge” is probably the only dialogue from Shefali that’s an in your face take on the subject at hand, the rest is laid out subtly but yet visibly throughout the 13-minute narrative.

Shefali Shah in <i>Juice.</i>
Shefali Shah in Juice.
(Photo courtesy: YouTube)

Like the food being cooked in the kitchen, Ghaywan deftly builds a graph for his main character, Manju Singh, to simmer and then finally bringing her to boiling point in the climax.

Various trigger points are laid out through the story, like a girl child being asked to serve the boys, which may seem contrived, but given the “ordinariness” of the events, do not really stand out awkwardly.
Manish Prakash Chaudhari in <i>Juice.</i>
Manish Prakash Chaudhari in Juice.
(Photo courtesy: YouTube)

References to a female boss, a malfunctioning table-fan, Hilary vs Trump and Akbar come up in the conversation between the men in their bastion, all of which emotionally add to the final silent outburst.

Like Manju Singh’s final stare, Juice is a brilliant, long, hard and unflinching look at male entitlement.

Don’t miss it, you can watch Juice here: