|© 2006 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
An image from Man Push
Cart, Ramin Bahrani, USA,
2005; 87 min.
Photo credit : Films Philos.
If you have ever visited Manhattan or if you live there, then you have
probably seen the various push cart vendors who dot the streets. Many
congregate in the Wall Street area or in the 50s, not far from the Museum
of Modern Art, where this movie was screened as part of "New Directors/
Man Push Cart, written and directed by Ramin Bahrani, attempts
to put a human face on the men (and it is generally men) who work
inside these tin boxes. His film centers on Ahmad (the charismatic Ahmad
Razvi), a former pop singer from Pakistan now selling coffee, tea and
donuts to commuters. Ahmad attempts to supplement his income by
selling bootleg pornographic DVDs. His goal is to raise money to buy
his cart outright and then save enough money to regain custody of his
son who is now living with his disapproving in-laws.
One day, Ahmad is recognized by Mohammad (Charles Daniel
Sandoval), a successful Wall Street broker orginally from Pakistan.
Impressed that the "Bono of Lahore" (as he calls Ahmad) is in Manhattan
but surprised that he has been reduced to selling coffee, Mohammad
makes vague offers to assist Ahmad in launching a career here in the
United States. There's also a sort of love triangle as each man becomes
interested Noemi (Leticia Dolera lending a pleasant warmth to the film),
a newspaper vendor who works in the same neighborhood.