Utpal Dutt ( Monomohan in the film) obviously represents the author's point of view, radiates a sense of fun in the lift of his eyebrows, his gait and the knowing air of his constant exposure of the fruitfulness of the precautions his long-lost relations take on the way to placing progressive confidence on him. With his weatherbeaten look marked by the great load of experience it suggests , he is affectionately amused by what is to him the naivete of his flock including those who persist in suspecting his integrity. The character of the prodigal uncle returned home is central to the film and all its content is coloured by his personality. There is also the element of the informative and the covert moralising which has characterized Ray's children's films as well as the books for children he wrote. It is the ever present sense of mild fun that tempers the educative aspect and makes the films as attractive to adults as to the younger audience. In "Agantuk" the difference is that unlike the other films for the young it does not declare itself as such, and that the major part of his (Utpal Dutt's ) audience within the film is in fact adult, albeit less experienced than himself..
In treating adults somewhat as children, "Agantuk" situates itself in unfamiliar territory and its difference from other Ray films is not readily apparent. Ehen they miss the tone of the film with its lightly tongue-in-cheek manner, adult audience are unable to place themselves in the right angle in relation to the film and misread it as serious social philosophy casually thrown around. However, one canot totally dismiss the didactic side of the "noble savage" philosophy. Although uttered tonge-in -cheek, Utpal Dutt's words have a serious content which can be criticized, especially if we miss or dismiss the charming lighter aspect. For instance, the glorification of the tribal people, who have been subjected to thousands of years of exloitation and corrupted thereby, must remain questanable.
The important point about the film is the fact that we can enjoy the film without taking its "message" too seriously. But this is something the message-mongering solemnity of the Indian audience is unable to accept. The sophisticated criticise the film both for its lack of textural beauty and the triviality of its philosophy; the general audience falls between the two stools and does not know whether to react as adults or as children.