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Author: Raju Roychowdhury

MAN AND THE MACHINE – on Ritwik Ghatak’s AJANTRIK (THE PATHETIC FALLACY)

After a hiatus of over five years since Nagarik (The Citizen, 1952), a film that unfortunately did not see the light of the day during his lifetime, Ritwik Ghatak made his second feature, Ajantrik (The Pathetic Fallacy, 1958), based on a short story by renowned writer Subodh Ghosh (1909-1980). The film depicts an obsessive relationship between an eccentric, lone-wolf cabdriver, Bimal (Kali Banerjee), and his 1920s Chevrolet jalopy, affectionately called Jagaddal (which literally means “immovable” in Bengali). The film begins with a madcap scenario: A young bridegroom (Satindra Bhattachrya who played the lead role in Nagarik) and his uncle...

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