Writer-director Ramin Bahrani eschews the usual plot- or character-driven narrative in order to create a snapshot of a has-been Pakistani rock star known as “the Bono of Lahore”. The film follows its forlorn protagonist Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi) who starts his life over in America as a pushcart vendor. Every day before dawn, Ahmad drags his heavy pushcart through New York's traffic and sets up shop to sell coffee, doughnuts and bagels to busy city dwellers.
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He intends to save enough money to get a place where he can raise his estranged son. As he locks away his cash in a wooden box each day, a few events promise a hopeful change to his monotonous existence: his adoption of a stray kitten; befriending Noe (Leticia Dolera), a Spanish woman running a newspaper cart; and help from the affluent Mohammad (Charles Daniel Sandoval), a fellow Pakistani who recalls Ahmad's past glory.
Bahrani's deliberate pacing allows the audience to feel the tedium of Ahmad's life, which might have felled a lesser film. "Man Push Cart," however, makes the repetition, menial tasks and quiet moments just as much a part of our lives as Ahmad's, and therefore, just as significant. That effect primarily stems from Bahrani's matter-of-fact presentation of events and Michael Simmonds' crisp, clearer-than-reality cinematography.
Close-ups on Ahmad's hand and various parts of the cart enhance the claustrophobia. Framing isolates him from the bustle of life, but always Razvi draws the eye with his understated take on a man living quietly but desperately day to day. With few words and even fewer expressions, he presents Ahmad as polite, practical and rarely bitter, which makes his exhaustion and disappointment all the more frustrating for the viewer.
In the end, shines a light on the everyday man we tend to ignore, even when we also are subject to life's relentless ability to erode the spirit. The filmmaker avoids making judgments, however, which somehow does make the film even more unsettling
The review of this Movie prepared by afia ahmad