Ahmad is a Pakistani immigrant who dispenses coffee and bagels and suchlike from his food cart in New York City. He has to haul it manually to his corner and back.
That's the essence of the plot.
We could not but agree with BBC reviewer Digby Lewis who, in part, commented in his review:
A modern day retelling of the Sisyphus myth - in which a man spends his days heaving a large rock uphill, only to watch it roll back down the slope every time - Ahmad (Ahmad Razvi) is our ill-fated cart-pusher, who succeeds only in having a thoroughly miserable time of it in the Big Apple. ...Or the San Francisco Chronicle review which observed:
... Unfortunately, the characters are so tediously one dimensional, poorly scripted and amateurishly acted, that the most sympathetic character is a neglected kitten.
... The makers of "Man Push Cart" seem so dedicated to making a film that defies Hollywood conventions that the finished product lacks enough entertainment value to justify price of admission. ...Would that I had seen this before having believed all those other critics who I know know think that a dreary movie going nowhere is the height of artistic achievement.
I don't have a problem with watching a movie about the downtrodden immigrant experience, which was all we could conclude the director was aiming for.
However, I have a huge problem being subjected to a movie about a stupid, downtrodden immigrant experience (spoilers follow, but you won't care because you're never going to watch this, right? Please promise us you won't watch it ...):
- When you make the payment on that food cart, then get it insured, just as you were advised to do. You have some money in that box you leave lying around your room (which I was continually expecting him to return to find stolen ... they missed that one ...).
- That uninsured cart? Don't go jaunting off after a toy vendor around the corner to buy your son a toy ... and then be stunned when you find that New York City's criminals whisked it away when you were gone.
- That fellow Pakistani you met? He's a phony and you had tons of clues. If you were the Bono of Pakistan, as he explained to someone, then you should have had lots of time to learn how to identify a phony. You didn't figure that out? Like I said ... stupid.
- That phony's pal who is going to reestablish your singing career if only you will do menial work in the meantime? Not only phony, but just a jerk who is using you. Again. Tons of clues. TONS.
- That Spanish girl you like? She likes you. TONS of clues. And you like her. We know you do. So when she is dating that phony you both know, don't just stand there giving her longing looks and shoving her away when she tries to kiss you. That would be ... oh, right ... stupid.
- The kitten? Ok, we're giving you a break on that one. Although if you did know someone who was wise to the ways of two-week-old kittens, why didn't you ask him for some info earlier? But as I said, we're giving you a break. We like guys who rescue 2-week-old kittens.
There's an hour and a half of my life I won't get back. Ever.