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Ajantrik, 1958 film.jpg
Directed byRitwik Ghatak
Written bySubodh Ghosh (short story)
Ritwik Ghatak (story elaboration)
StarringKali Banerjee
Shriman Deepak
Kajal Gupta
Keshto Mukherjee
Music byAli Akbar Khan
CinematographyDinen Gupta
Edited byRamesh Joshi
L. B Films International
Release date
23 May 1958
Running time
104 min.

Ajantrik (known internationally as The Unmechanical, The Mechanical Man or The Pathetic Fallacy)[1] is a 1958 Indian Bengali film written and directed by parallel filmmaker Ritwik Ghatak.[2] The film is adapted from a Bengali short story of the same name written by Subodh Ghosh.

A comedy-drama film, Ajantrik is one of the earliest Indian films to portray an inanimate object, in this case an automobile, as a character in the story. It achieves this through the use of sounds recorded post-production to emphasize the car's bodily functions and movements.[3]

The film was considered for a special entry in the Venice Film Festival in 1959.[4]


Bimal is a taxi-driver in a small provincial town. He lives alone. His taxi (an old 1920 Chevrolet jalopy which he named Jagaddal) is his only companion and, although very battered, it is the apple of Bimal's eye. The film shows episodes from his life in the industrial wasteland, delivering people from one place to another.[3][5]

Film critic Georges Sadoul shared his experience of watching the film in this way. He said, "What does 'Ajantrik' mean? I don't know and I believe no one in Venice Film Festival knew...I can't tell the whole story of the film...there was no subtitle for the film. But I saw the film spellbound till the very end". According to the noted Bengali poet and German scholar Alokranjan Dasgupta, "The merciless conflict of ethereal nature and mechanised civilization, through the love of taxi driver Bimal and his pathetic vehicle Jagaddal seems to be a unique gift of...modernism."


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holden, Stephen (27 September 1996). "A Film Series On a Director". The New York Times. p. 5.
  2. ^ "The Mechanical Man (1958)". New York Times. Retrieved 3 August 2012.
  3. ^ a b Carrigy, Megan (October 2003). "Ritwik Ghatak". Senses of Cinema. Archived from the original on 30 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-05-03.
  4. ^ Ghaṭaka, R̥tvikakumāra (2005). Calaccitra, mānusha ebaṃ āro kichu (1. De'ja saṃskaraṇa. ed.). Kalakātā: De'ja Pābaliśiṃ. p. 349. ISBN 81-295-0397-2.
  5. ^ Banerjee, Shampa; Anil Srivastava (1988). One Hundred Indian Feature Films: An Annotated Filmography. Taylor & Francis. p. 22. ISBN 0-8240-9483-2.

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