Set in 1995, Prem Prakash Tiwari (Ayushmann Khurrana) owns a cassette shop in the local market of Haridwar. His father is keen on getting him married to an educated but overweight girl Sandhya (Bhumi Pednekar). In spite of not liking her, the school drop out Prem agrees to marry her as he cannot attain a girl with Juhi Chawla-level-of-looks. In addition, the fact that Sandhya is trying to be a school teacher, his family asks him to think of this as a financial help too. Eventually, in an elaborate community-wedding ceremony, Prem and Sandhya get married.
Prem visibly shows his disinterest in the marriage and does not consummate the marriage on the wedding night. While his sister, aunt and mother argue about his non-existent life, Prem leaves for akhara. Friends and seniors make fun of him and he tells them about his anguish. His trainer suggests that he must run away but that is not an option for him. At home, Sandhya tries to get Prem attracted to her.
But he is too embarrassed to even walk with her on the street. Prem and Sandhyas relationship continues to remain strained although they share a kiss and have sex on their second night together. Over time, Sandhyas frustration shows; when Prems aunt brings up a petty topic, the two have a heated exchange of words and she tells them how he does not treat her well.Amidst all this, a close friend of Prems gets married. Prem and Sandhya go for the ceremony where due to his excessive drinking and jealousy over his friends pretty wife, he tells everyone that sleeping with Sandhya feels like hell.
Sandhya hears this and slaps him in front of his friends and he slaps her back. The next morning, Sandhya reflects on what shes been through and decides she has had enough and decides to leave Prem. She blames her father-in-law for his lack of respect towards women and not giving his son a proper education. Sandhyas mother tries to pacify her, saying she must return to her husband. But she decides that she can live by herself.
Meanwhile, Prem decides to channel his energy into studying and to take his English paper again; he enrolls for the examination. His friends give up on him; after a verbal squabble, they throw him out of the group.Subsequently, a friends father opens a competing shop selling music CDs in the same market, clearly affecting their business. Prems family talks to the shop-owners family and the discussion ends with Prems friend challenging him to participate and win the Dum Lagao contest. (The contest entails him carrying his wife on his shoulders and running an obstacle course.
) Meanwhile, Sandhya and Prem reach the court to file divorce. The court decides that the two must spend six months with each other and try to salvage their marriage. Both decide to live together just as a formality but the two begin to get on, as they both start understanding each other. Sandhya gets accepted for a teaching job in Meerut.Prems aunt successfully convinces him to participate in the competition and the couple take a last chance to save their marriage.
The day arrives and much to the surprise of the society members, Prem and Sandhya join the co-participants. Surprisingly, Prem shoulders the weight of his wife and surges past all other contestants who fall. In the last lap, Sandhya confesses to Prem that she does not want to go to Meerut and wants Prem to let her stay. Prem knows winning this competition is the only way to do this and pushes himself further to eventually win the race.But Prem does not let Sandhya get off his back even after the race is over.
He takes her back all the way to his house where they seal their love with a kiss.The Hindustan Times stated that while You know from the onset that the guy will get his girl, the film bucks stereotypes in many, many ways. Bollywood Hungama praised the films lead actors Bhumi and Ayushmans performances, but criticised direction by Sharat Kataria and editing of the film. Koimoi rated the film 4 out of 5 stars. Shubhra Gupta of the Indian Express gave it 3.
5 stars. Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 3.5 stars. NDTV gave a positive review with 3.5 stars.
Anuj Kumar of The Hindu praised the movie saying Dum Laga Ke Haisha: A well-rounded effort.
Ayushmann Khurrana, Bhumi Pednekar
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