For love or money – that’s the age-old problem rearing its head in Jo Hum Chahein, an urban romance starring newcomers Sunny Gill and Simran Mundi. On the surface, this film reminds you of the Shah Rukh Khan hit Raju Ban Gaya Gentleman, with its theme of a hero conflicted by his ambition into sacrificing his values.

Gill plays Rohan, an MBA graduate who has little time for his only family, his dad, because he’s too busy climbing up the corporate ladder to success. The more Rohan bumps into sweet-natured, aspiring actress Neha, played by Mundi, the more he falls into a relationship with her. Meanwhile, there’s a Wall Street, Gordon Gecko-like character in Rohan’s office, played by Aly Khan, who mentors him into becoming a toy boy for a wealthy, sexy widow (Achint Kaul offering the film’s most measured performance), just so their company can play the stock market with her millions.

Debutant writer-director Pawan Gill updates this familiar story with some real touches – the film’s heroine doesn’t shy away from pre-marital sex, and when it comes to having a baby she makes a rather radical choice. What helps this mostly formulaic film forward is the spiffy camerawork and a music score that’s catchy and fresh, especially the glossy Ishq hothon se number, shot in picturesque Ladakh.

Jo Hum Chahein endeavors to strike a fresh note, but alas, it’s let down by the weight of its trite dialogues. I’m going with two out of five for Jo Hum Chahein – it’s a decent first effort, even though it smacks of sameness.

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