A naturalistic film with echoes of `The Bicycle Thieves', 'Man Push Cart' is the story of a man who has even the very little he possesses (his son, coffee stall, brief glimpses of happiness) taken away from him. It is the story of Ahmad and his struggle to survive in New York after a personal tragedy & loss. The sparse, well-written screenplay reveals information as the story unfolds.
We discover that Ahmad was a famous musician in Pakistan, but is now forced to earn his living serving coffee to New Yorkers. The coffee stall becomes Ahmad's small enclosed world from which we view the urban landscape of New York through his eyes.
Possibilities such as the resumption of his music career (he begins to listen to his old tapes again and even attempt new songs) & the tentative relationship with a young girl, Noemi, from Barcelona offer brief glimmers of hope before these are extinguished and Ahmad is let down.
In the final Act, the director makes you, the viewer, endure Ahmad's desperation as he even loses the very little that he possessed. It is a story about perseverance, endurance and perhaps ends on a small note of hope in that Ahmad pushes a cart together with another man, Altaf.
I thought `Man Push Cart', an honest, truthful film which will not to be for all tastes (coffee tastes bitter, no saccharine-sugar in this film). Yes, not a lot `happens' in terms of plot, but it happens in particular to one man; it is essentially a character study about a man who must struggle against his fate & emotional circumstances. The lead actor plays his role excellently, especially when one considers he is not a professional actor.