Home > Uncategorized > Man Push Cart (2005)

Man Push Cart (2005)

Man Push Cart is a 2005 film directed by Ramin Bahrani starring Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, and Charles Daniel Sandoval.  This film talks about a man named Ahmad Razvi who is a Pakistani immigrant living in New York City selling bagels, coffee, and tea in a big push cart.  Ahmad wakes up very early each morning to take his push cart to a corner to sell his goods. As is to be expected, Ahmad meets some of the same customers every day.  Eventually, he meets a Pakistani businessman named Mohammad who offers him work at his home.  Once Ahmad begins work at Mohammad’s, Mohammad realizes that Ahmad is no ordinary push cart worker, but Ahmad reveals that he is the famous Pakistani singer Mohammad suspected.

One of the themes presented in this film was how “Bahrani shows one of his inspirational books in this film to be The Myth of Sisyphus which was written by Albert Camus. This story is about a man who spends his life rolling a heavy rock up a hill, only to see it roll back down again” (Roger Ebert reporting from Sundance). Ahmads life closely resembles this struggle.  Another theme presented in this film was how Ahmad seems to sometimes appear as a (working class) hero and at other times, especially towards the end, seems like an anti-hero.  The theme of life and work coinciding is present throughout.  Bahrani makes it appear as if life revolves around day to day work.  The audience is also alerted to the past of Ahmad but the plot neither dives too deep into the past nor too far into the future of Ahmad’s activities.  Another thematic element the plot introduces is that of immigrant life and how grueling and oftentimes unfair.  At other times in the film, the plot reveals how much opportunity is available in American life.

The plot of the film is very interesting and engaging.  There are many scenes throughout the film that keep the audience guessing and speculating Ahmad’s actions or those of other characters.  One of the most intriguing parts of this film was how dark, sad and gloomy life as an immigrant can be.  Another few interesting aspects of the film’s plot was how the script chose not to explore the past life of Ahmad who was a very popular singer in Pakistan and chose instead to suggest that Ahmad’s life would continue the way it has been with his push cart.  The plot provided the audience with a very dramatic couple of scenes which included a kitten dying as well as the loss of trust between Ahmad and his son.

The cinematography used in this film is great.  The camera angles and depth give the audience a real world look at the story and of the character Ahmad.  What is interesting in the film is how very few flashbacks are shown, but rather present-day scenes are shown which make the audience wonder as to the past life Ahmad once had and what lay in storage for his future.  The ending of the film provides the audience with a hint as to what the future holds for Ahmad.  For example, the ending shows Ahmad covering a friend’s push cart shift at a neighboring corner.  A customer comes up to Ahmad and asks about the usual attendant.  Ahmad replies by saying that the usual guy will be back tomorrow.  This scene is reminiscent of the beginning scene when Ahmad questions the Spanish woman about his Pakistani friend and when he will return; she replies by saying soon.  But in fact, he moves to Albany for another job.  Overall, this film provides an unusual but rather entertaining form of cinema which seemingly brings out various emotions in its audience and provides an overall balance.

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