Release Date: September 8th, 2006 (Angelika Film Center) by Films Philos.
The Cast: Ahmad Razvi, Leticia Dolera, Charles Daniel Sandoval, Ali Reza, Farooq Muhammad, Panicker Upendran, Arun Lal.
Directed by Ramin Bahrani.
BASIC PREMISE: Ahmad (Razvi) struggles as a pushcart vendor on the streets of New York City.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Man Push Cart has a thin, meandering plot which lives up to its title in terms of being simple and straightforward. Essentially, it presents a ďslice of lifeĒ from the life of Ahmad with one long second act. Much of the film feels like a documentary, as if youíre glimpsing this vendorís experiences during the day and night like a voyeur. Ahmad briefly flirts with a woman (Dolera) who works at a newsstand. A businessman helps him in the process of pursuing his music career as a pop singer while making him do all sorts of small tasks such as painting his apartment, which he fails to do properly. Basically, Ahmadís life is a mess. Heís poor, his wife died and his son is distant. Unfortunately, not enough happens in terms of plot or character development to sustain your attention for 87 minutes. A subplot involving an adopted cat feels more engaging than the main plot itself. Ahmadís cart gets stolen at one point, but that conflict comes much too late in the film and isnít taken far enough by writer/director Ramin Bahrani. Without enough dialogue/interactions with other people, itís difficult to get to know Ahmad enough to actually care about him. Moreover, the shaky, digital cinematography get irritating too fast and Bahrani awkwardly shoots many pointless scenes of the ground without a single shot of the sky. If only the script were imaginative and lively, Man Push Cart would have actually been entertaining to watch.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Unfortunately, none.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: A weak plot, often dull and meandering.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 9
IN A NUTSHELL: Initially fascinating, but mostly unimaginative and pointless.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: TV
The "M" Menu