Pugaippadam, about a group of youngsters in college, is interesting in parts, but an improved screenplay would have made it work better. A love story also finds its way into the story, but it soon starts meandering.

Sivam as Guru, Nanda as Nanda, Harish as Bala, Amjath as Krishna, Priya as Shyni and Mrinalini as Gouri get their acting right. The first few scenes where the students meet the head of the administration, Anitha (Neelima), is a little over-the-top, but later, how Neelima helps the students is interesting. A film such as this needs a strong script to back it and tie-up the loose ends; that is missing here.

Veteran Gangai Amaren's songs and background score are a redeeming feature. Two of the six songs — ‘Idhu Kanavo' sung by S.P. Balasubramaniam and Chitra and penned by director Rajeshlingam, and the song rendered by Venkat Prabhu and Prasanthini to Na. Muthukumar lyrics make for good listening.

Vijay Armstrong's camera work is commendable, and editor B. Lenin is an asset to first-time directors. His work in the film is noteworthy, but he could have made more use of the scissors! The dialogues are up to the mark, and on the whole, the film is a promising debut for Rajeshlingam.

Pugaippadam

Genre: Campus flick

Director: Rajeshlingam

Cast: Sivam, Nanda, Harish, Amjath, Priya, Mrinalini, Neelima, Venkat, Madan and Shanmugasundaram

Storyline: How five college students deal with life

Bottomline: Promising, but the screenplay's weak