If you’ve taken rides with app-based cab services in the city, you’d have encountered drivers from far-flung towns and villages, trying to fake their way through the urban maze. Charlie plays one such person in the Tamil drama Maanagaram (Big City) – but so does Shri, in a way. He’s no cabbie. But he’s equally lost in the city. He cannot understand the swearing. When a stranger approaches him with a sob story about losing his purse and needing money, Shri instantly reaches into his pocket to help – only to receive a rebuke from a friend who knows a conman when he sees one. In the film’s opening scene, Shri is being interviewed for a job in a BPO. He doesn’t fake it, though. He’s from Trichy, which isn’t exactly a small town – and yet, he admits that a job in Madras, one in an air-conditioned office, one that fetches him 25K a month, is something of a status symbol.
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