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Man Push Cart (2005)

1 rating: 3.0
A movie directed by Ramin Bahrani

Every night while the city sleeps, Ahmad, a former rock star in his native Pakistan, drags his heavy cart along the streets of New York. And every morning, he sells coffee and donuts to a city he cannot call his own. One day, the pattern of this harsh … see full wiki

Tags: Movies
Director: Ramin Bahrani
1 review about Man Push Cart (2005)

Love or Money

  • Oct 14, 2007
Rating:
+3
'Man Push Cart' is an absorbing slice-of-life movie. Many accolades have been heaped upon it, but it's availablity has been obscure for so long, which is a real shame. I have to admit that I was suspicious from the previews that it would be one of those "noble" entries one finds that becomes drawn out and tedious. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find how accessible and enjoyable this film really is.

Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi) is a typical immigrant protagonist. Coming from Pakistan, he lives and works in New York City, the quintessential immigrant city: One that's filled with opportunity as well as bewildering urban bustle and stress. Like many with ingenuity, he has his own business. He's a street vendor who sells hot beverages to commuters on a busy city street. The portrait of him and his life unfolds along the way in ways that are engaging and colorful.

Soon we find out that he has come to the one year anniversary of his wife's death, and he has been estranged to his son, Sajjad, whom his inlaws have custody. He is a hard worker, like so many immigrants, and this initiative pays off with one customer who hires him to do some work on an apartment. It is during this liason that we learn that Ahmad was famous previously, but I won't divulge the nature here. However, this new business associate gets him some new business for which he was famous, and from here he meets a lovely Spanish immigrant (Leticia Dolera) who becomes his new love interest.

He does what he can, but he seems to have to choose between love and money, welfare and family along the way. He has a friend named Muhammad (Charles Daniel Sandoval) who checks up on him, and from their conversations we pick up on their lives. Reflecting on making ends meet Ahmad says, "[It] Gets harder for people like you and me...What I need to do, I'll do." What makes 'Man Push Cart' so worthwhile is the intimate view of his struggles and motivations--what makes him tick and the decisions he makes to have a better life.

Complications develop and some of the movie borrows a bit from Italy's classic 'The Bicycle Thief,' but the story is so authentically presented that it feels like a documentary of real people than it does a movie rehash. The direction by Ramin Bahrani is excellent for making us walk in the shoes of Ahmad and feel the struggle of his journey.

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