7.0/10
2,875
35 user 66 critic

Man Push Cart (2005)

Not Rated | | Drama | 10 May 2006 (France)
A night in the life of a former Pakistani rock star who now sells coffee from his push cart on the streets of Manhattan.

Director:

Ramin Bahrani

Writer:

Ramin Bahrani
8 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Ahmad Razvi ... Ahmad
Leticia Dolera ... Noemi
Charles Daniel Sandoval ... Mohammad
Ali Reza ... Manish
Farooq 'Duke' Muhammad Farooq 'Duke' Muhammad ... Duke
Panicker Upendran Panicker Upendran ... Noori (as Upendran K. Panicker)
Arun Lal Arun Lal ... Father-in-Law
Razia Mujahid Razia Mujahid ... Mother-in-Law
Hassan Razvi Hassan Razvi ... Ahmad's son
Mustafa Razvi Mustafa Razvi ... Pakistani Driver
Altaf Houssein Altaf Houssein ... Altaf
Bill Lewis ... Final Customer
Abdelrahma Abdelaziz Abdelrahma Abdelaziz ... Friend at Bar
Ronak Ricky Patel Ronak Ricky Patel ... Newstand Worker
Shaana Levy ... Club Worker (as Shaana Diya)
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Storyline

Every night while the city sleeps, Ahmad, a Pakistani immigrant, struggles to drag his heavy cart along the streets of New York to his corner in Midtown Manhattan. And every morning, from inside his cart he sells coffee and donuts to a city he cannot call his own. He is the worker found on every street corner in every city. He is a man who wonders if he will ever escape his fate. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Urdu

Release Date:

10 May 2006 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

Anthropos sprohnei karotsi See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,694, 10 September 2006

Gross USA:

$36,608

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$55,903
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Pakistani Rockstar Atif Aslam's three songs were included in the film. "Aadat" is the main track while portions of the songs "Ehsaas" and "Yakeen" are also introduced in the film. All are taken from the album Jal Pari. See more »

Connections

Featured in Life Itself (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Aadat
Written by Goher Mumtaz
Performed by Atif Aslam and Goher Mumtaz
See more »

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User Reviews

Getting By
26 September 2008 | by MacAindraisSee all my reviews

Man Push Cart (2006) ****

One of the brightest stars who's shine is hidden behind the influx of barely inspired and boldly formulaic audience friendly indie pleasers, Ramin Bahrani made his big leap with this 2006 near masterpiece. Man Push Cart is a stripped bare expose of the life of a push cart worker, trying to get by so that he can continue to try and get by.

Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi) was a former rockstar in his native Pakistan, but left that life behind to come to America with his wife and child. His family did not approve of him, and so they left their lives behind. In New York, he pulls his heavy cart through the predawn traffic, not noticed by the passing cars unless he is in their way. He has his regular customers with whom he chats, and has his vendor friends, with whom he barters and trades porno dvds for cigarettes or whatever else. He makes friends with a well off fellow Pakistani, Mohammad, who invites him to paint his apartment if he needs extra cash. Once there, Mohammad realizes why he has found Ahmad's face so familiar. He wants to set him up with another friend, who he says is connected in the industry. One day, his contact at a paper stand is replaced by a young Spanish woman. Ahmad is clearly attracted to her, and she to him. This is okay, as Ahmad confides in Mohammad that his wife died soon after their arrival. His son now lives with his mother's parents while Ahmad tries to save up the money to get an apartment for them. His cart is his lifeblood. His cart, for now, is his life.

This interferes with his personal life. His wife's death has left him scarred, and although we're not told, we infer that Noemi and Mohammad are the only friends he has had since coming to this strange new city. Mohammad gets him a job working in a club, one which he leaves midshift so he can get back to his cart, to push and pull it into the downtown core. His inability to communicate his feelings to Noemi leaves her open to Mohammad, who also likes her. It's nonetheless clear that she wants Ahmad. But his life has no space for love right now - only pushing and pulling, selling and bartering. Trying to get by, so he can continue to get by.

Bahrani, an Iranian raised in America, directs the film as minimally as possible. Man Push Cart is Bicycle Thieves redux - not that it is as good a film as that great one, of course, but simply in the same vein. It's akin to a French Minimalist Italian Neorealist made in America by an Iranian starring a Pakistani. The camera moves and cuts only when it must. Bahrani relies on the quiet resonance of his story and the muted power of his actors to tell it. As much a lover of bold direction as I am, understated direction is often the wisest, and even the boldest, choice a filmmaker can take.

Man Push Cart is a slow and bittersweet film - often more bitter than sweet. But in the end, instead of being broken, Ahmad finds a spark of hope in his surroundings. He will have taken a tumble, but he has the perseverance to struggle on, not for his own sake, but for the sake of a better day to come. Then he will have time to love, to laugh. But for now, he will keep trying to get by today, so he can try to get by tomorrow, and someday get where he needs to be


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