Man Push Cart, 2005

Posted: January 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

This video clip from the film, Man Push Cart, directed by Ramin Bahrani and starring Ahmad Razvi depicts how difficult life can be. In Ahmad’s situation, there is a feeling of sadness because he is in such a terrible rut. In the conversation with the old man in his car, Ahmad reveals that he has not seen his son in three months because he does not have enough money to support him. As seen in the background, the two men are in front of Toys “R” Us, and the audience discovers later in the film that Ahmad was trying to buy a toy for his son, but, once again, he could not afford it. His conditions are certainly unfortunate and it is apparent that a feeling of hopelessness has come over Ahmad. Although it is depressing to watch how gloomy his state in life is, one cannot help but to reprimand Ahmad. In the beginning of this scene, he buys a pack of cigarettes for almost seven dollars. Throughout the movie, Ahmad constantly has a cigarette in his mouth which makes one wonder: how can he be continuously spending his money on something that is not a necessity of life when it is clear he is struggling to pay for his cart and food.

One of the major themes in the movie Man Push Cart is that things do not always work out in life. Life does not always have a happy ending and no matter how hard one works, one’s fortunes may remain the same or possibly get even worse. Though there were brief signs of hope in Ahmad’s life and it appeared that things were looking up, he had a major setback when someone stole his breakfast cart. In the early parts of the film, the audience sees him pushing his cart through the streets of New York to his corner in midtown Manhattan in order to sell muffins, bagel, and coffee. It is evident that the cart is incredibly difficult to drag around, especially when he pushes it around at 3 A.M. every day in the dark. Later on, this Pakistani immigrant finds other opportunities for work such as helping a fellow Pakistani man work on his house. This man recognizes Ahmad as a rock star back home in Pakistan and begins to try to help him. He helps him financially by giving him money to buy his food cart as well as providing beer and food for him. He even introduces Ahmad to a man in the music business in order to rejuvenate his singing career. Ahmad is hired to work in a nightclub but leaves in the middle of his shift saying that he is unable to work both jobs. Again, there was hope in his future but the job did not work out for him and he continued to struggle. In addition to his work struggles, Ahmad had extreme troubles in his family life. His wife passed away one year ago and his son moved in with his grandmother. When what Ahmad went to visit his son for the first time in months, his son ignored him and showed no love to his father. No matter what Ahmad does, it seems as if things will never get better and the light at the end of the tunnel will never appear. Once more, Ahmad meets a girl named Noemi and there seems to be a relationship forming, but suddenly his fortunes turn against him and she leaves back to Spain.

 Ahmad pushing his cart

 Ahmad and Noemi

Another theme that exists in this movie is the theme of immigrant life. Not only was the main character in the film, Ahmad, an immigrant worker from Pakistan, there were many other immigrants seen in the film as well. Another man from Pakistan was featured in the film and was also working in a food van. Noemi was also an immigrant from Spain and also was working in her own cart, except she was selling magazines and cigarettes. As seen throughout the film, the life of an immigrant can be one that is especially hard. There are so much less opportunities to succeed as far as finding a job and living comfortably.

 Immigrant workers


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