Man Push Cart

"Very Good"

Man Push Cart Review


To date, the services of the food carts that litter the corners of New York City have never been of use to yours truly. The world of the people who runs these small huts, often Indian, Israeli or Mexican, is often a dystopia of non-existence. They aren't recognized as people but simply as peddlers of the morning coffee and bagel and the middle-of-walking snack attack and then as a faded memory. But then someone recognizes them, and then it's a whole other world.

Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi) pours cups of piping hot coffee, spreads cheap cream cheese on bagels and hangs dangling teabags in hot water for dozens of people each morning and he's fine with it. He comes home to the closet he calls an apartment, writes, and takes care of a small kitten. It's his life; it's not big but he likes it. That is until Mohammad (Charles Daniel Sandoval) recognizes him. Back in Pakistan, Ahmad's homeland, Ahmad was a famed rock star, like Bono with longer hair. Mohammad remembers this and feels it's his duty to bring him back into the limelight. At the same time, Ahmad begins to fall for Noemi (Leticia Dolera), a Spanish girl who operates a magazine and candy shack a few blocks away. The romance is tentative, but Ahmad's hesitant climb to get back to where he was hits snags, major ones.

First-time director Ramin Bahrani has set up an introspective, refreshingly unpretentious look at the struggle of immigrants, both spiritually and economically. Back in Pakistan, Ahmad could have done anything he wanted but he wanted to come to America and became a nobody. His food cart is a sort of temple, where he feels safe in the daily routine of serving the businesspeople that walk up and down Midtown. This job acts as a sort of ritual for him (prayer, perhaps?) that gives him comfort when he returns to his small apartment. Mohammad is a reformed Middle Eastern man: He does what he wants and is rich enough to where he doesn't really have to worry about consequences. His offer to help out Ahmad is construed more as an offer to make him American and to quit his ritual. Ostensibly, he's asking him to give up his Middle Eastern roots.

There are chinks in the armor. The act of simply being in his food cart and reveling in the slow routine isn't explored quite to its fullest extent. One could blame this on the romance subplot, but the relationship between Ahmad and Noemi is done with such artful vacillation that one couldn't have many qualms with it. The kiss that Ahmad and Noemi share is as passionate a kiss as one will likely see in a film not rated NC-17 this year. Perhaps it's the simple fact that even a moment is diverted from Ahmad and his search for spiritual solemnity. There's something missing from the film's transcendental reach, but that doesn't delude the fact that Bahrani is a major talent and his film should garner due attention. Maybe a bagel and coffee wouldn't hurt tomorrow morning.

Now start pushing.



Man Push Cart

Facts and Figures

Run time: 87 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 10th May 2006

Distributed by: Films Philos

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 42 Rotten: 6

IMDB: 7.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Pradip Ghosh, Bedford T. Bentley

Starring: Leticia Dolera as Noemi, Charles Daniel Sandoval as Mohammad, Ali Reza as Manish, Farooq 'Duke' Muhammad as Duke, Panicker Upendran as Noori, Ahmad Razvi as Ahmad

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The Belko Experiment Movie Review

The kill-or-die scenario that this movie hinges on isn't something new; it's been used in...

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

With the more dumbed-down title Fast & Furious 8 outside of North America, this overcrowded...

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

A Quiet Passion Movie Review

British writer-director Terence Davies (The Deep Blue Sea) is an expert at digging beneath the...

Advertisement
The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

The Sense of an Ending Movie Review

Julian Barnes' Booker Prize-winning novel is adapted into a remarkably intelligent, gently involving film anchored...

The Boss Baby Movie Review

The Boss Baby Movie Review

There isn't a lot of subtlety in this madcap animated comedy, which is more aimed...

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

City of Tiny Lights Movie Review

After the latest incarnation of Dredd, director Pete Travis shifts gears drastically for this complex...

Going in Style Movie Review

Going in Style Movie Review

This is only technically a remake of the iconic 1979 film starring movie icons George...

Graduation Movie Review

Graduation Movie Review

Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) recounts another staggeringly detailed...

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

Ghost in the Shell Movie Review

This sci-fi thriller is so visually stunning that it deserves to be mentioned in the...

Free Fire Movie Review

Free Fire Movie Review

Basically a 90-minute shoot-out, there isn't a lot to this movie. British filmmaker Ben Wheatley...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.