Monday 1 August 2011

"Maybe you don't have to do this all by yourself, mate." ~ Ron Weasley

         Isn't it sad that the only non-wisecrack thing said by Ron is my title? Ron in the films was a bit different from his counterpart in the books. He was more of the humourous sidekick rather than the best friend. If it hadn't been for Rupert Grint's brilliant comedic talent, I think he would have been even more less important in the films. However it was not always this way.

HP and the Sorcerer's Stone

"Yes, Hermione, I think this is gonna be *exactly* like wizard's chess."

Ron and Harry officially meet in the train on their way to Hogwarts for the first time. Ron instantly amuses Harry, and us, with his blunt humour. From calling Hermione mental, to unknowingly insulting Sir Nicholas by calling him Nearly Headless Nick, Ron is always funny. We are also introduced to his enormous appetite. Harry finds in Ron a person who has always lived around magic and family, unlike himself. Ron constantly supports Harry, whether against Malfoy, or in Quidditch or in trying to find out the truth behind Nicholas Flamel and the Sorcerer's Stone. We also witness the meeting of Ron and Hermione, and the friendly bickering that will last all their lives. When Ron looks in the Mirror if Erised, he sees himself, headboy, Quidditch captain, and famous- a clear heart's desire for a younger child in a huge family. At the end of the film, Ron, with his wizard's chess expertise, fights and wins against lifesized chess figures, even at the cost of sacrificing himself. His reaction to the points he gets awarded for this is honest, and adorable.

HP and the Chamber of Secrets

"Eugh... essence of Crabbe..."

For a while, this was THE Ron film for me. I mean he breaks Harry out of the Dursley house, flies his father's enchanted car to Hogwarts, is nearly flattened to death by the Whomping Willow, vomits slugs, gets the formidable Mrs. Weasley's howler, faces Moaning Myrtle, becomes Crabbe, follows spiders, goes into the Chamber of Secrets etcetera etcetera. He is so funny and scared in one makes on laugh like Ron. We meet most of the Weasley family here, and understand that beneath all the teasing and mocking, they have immense love and affection for each other. That is why Ron risks his life by entering the Chamber of Secrets, the first time, to save Ginny. Hermione gets petrified this year, and this clearly bothers him, and their almost hug at when she returns gives more than enough clues for any rom-com-watching-experienced-eye like mine.

HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban

"Spiders... the spiders... they want me to tap-dance. And I don't want to tap-dance!"

Ron returns to his duties a best friend of Harry, and co-quareller with Hermione. His main issues in this film is with his rat Scabbers, who in fact is Peter Petigrew in his Animagus form, much to Ron's surprise. We also see him entering his teens, and portraying the confusion, and subtle changes it brings with it.

HP and the Goblet of Fire

"I told Hermione to tell you that Seamus told me that Parvati told Dean that Hagrid was looking for you! Seamus never actually told me anything, so it was really me all along. I thought we'd be alright, you know, after you figured that out."

It must be difficult being the sidekick of the famous Harry Potter for Ron all these years. And when better to bare it all out than those confusing, formative, teenage years? For being jealous of Harry entering into Triwizard Tournament, with all the eternal glory- quite like what he had seen himself getting in the Mirror of Erised, Ron's slightly ugly side comes out and he and Harry have a huge fight. Then after the awkward reconciliation that is oh so typical of boys (I don't get it), Ron faces his biggest challenge yet- getting a date for the Yule Ball. This is also the first time we see a hint of his feelings towards Hermione, but he himself doesn't know it yet. From hero-worshiping Viktor Krum, to making him the "enemy" when Krum takes Hermione to the Ball, Ron is all about awkward teenage moments and feelings that we can all identify with.

HP and the Order of Phoenix

"One person couldn't feel all that, they'd explode!"

This is the film where Ron is exactly how he's supposed to be, in my opinion- a real backbone for Harry. With Harry's emotions all over the place, Ron keeps control of the situation and forever stands up for Harry- amongst skeptical classmates or in the DA. The food-lover part is touched over, showing that yes Ron hasn't changed all that much. His sense of humour also remains same- for instance the scene after Harry kisses Cho, and he jokes about it. He prepares well in the DA and then joins Harry in the Department of Mysteries and fights valiantly against the Death Eaters. Rupert Grint also looked really good in this film, and is kind of silent heroic throughout- a characteristic I really love.

HP and the Half-Blood Prince

"These girls...they're going to kill me, Harry"

Oooh Ron FINALLY gets some action in this one. This film, packed with hormones and love potions, is my favourite Ron "Won Won" Weasley film. As the quote above says- this year and film for Ron was very girl-filled (remember the conversation he and Harry have about girls' skin?). Lavendar "Lav Lav" Brown is shown to be infatuated with Ron, and when he is tricked into playing brilliantly at the Quidditch match as a Keeper, she kisses him in front of everyone in the Griffindor common room, including Hermione. This leads to the second onslaught of the Ron-Hermione fights, one which lasts very long. Ron ofcourse first enjoys, and then gets irritated by the puppy love of Lav Lav. He also ends up eating a love potion-filled box of chocolates from Romilda Vane, meant for Harry, and gets poisoned by mistake from a bottle of mead that Draco had meant to be drunk by Dumbledore. It is in his recovering/inebriated state, when he says Hermione's name repeatedly, when everyone understands what the emotionally defensive (silly) boy feels for his best female friend. He ofcourse scoff off the thought of this upon (so silly!) upon returning to normalcy. Throughout the film, he, like always, informs Harry about magical things like the Unbreakable Vow, and at the end, with Hermione- it is implied that he will go with Harry to search for the remaining Horcruxes and destroy them and defeat Voldemort.

HP and the Deathly Hallows, part 1

"Don't expect me to get excited over another damn thing we need to find."

Ron, forever the well-fed and spoilt child of his big family, is left out in the big bad world, with his two friends and not many ideas of what they are supposed to do there. From the beginning of the film itself, we see a very grown-up Ron. A Ron who drinks polyjuice potion to protect the identity of his best friend, despite the danger that it brings with it. A Ron who makes Harry stay and see the reason that their fight is not just for Harry, but for the greater good of everyone. A Ron who cannot keep his eyes off Hermione. After breaking into the Ministry of Magic to retrieve the original Horcux locket from Umbridge, Ron gets splinched during Apparation, which injures him. Added to that the troubles of travelling on road, not knowing any news of his family, and a part of the diabolical soul of Voldemort hanging around your neck, filling you up with hatred and anger- he had to blow up. Especially since he started suspecting that there is a romantic relationship being formed between Harry and Hermione right in front of him. Ron gets nasty like never before- a far cry from the funny and adorable Ron of the earlier films, and leaves the two in anger. He had been given Dumbledore's Deluminator as part of the latter's will, and this helps him return to his friends. We understand how lonely, and stupid, Ron must have felt without them, especially Hermione. Ron saves Harry's life when Harry is trying to take out the Sword of Griffindor from a frozen lake, and destroys the locket with it. The locket ofcourse tortures him first by telling him that he is least loved by his mother and an image of Harry and Hermione kissing, and happy without him; but Ron is surer of himself now and destroys it. His return is funny, and also tooth-achingly sweet, when he explains, so honestly, to the enraged Hermione that it was her voice that came through the Deluminator and helped to bring him back to them. This feeling of discontent and jealousy was needed by Ron, to make him the better person and friend he always was. Then when the trio get into trouble with the Snatchers after esacping Death Eaters at Xenophilius Lovegood's house, we can feel his pain when he hears the screams of Hermione because of how Bellatrix tortures her. Ron has problems with his self-confidence and jealousy and rage in this film, but in the end, he comes out better than ever.

HP and the Deathly Hallows, part 2

"We can do this."

A perfectly wonderful character, wasted on the whims of a screenwriter in love with the other best friend. That is what this film is for Ron. His faith is obviously, more strongly on Harry than ever before. He disguises himself as a Death Eater to break into Bellatrix's vault in Gringotts to get the Hufflepuff cup, and then with the other two, escapes on a dragon. After that, when Harry sees a vision of the next Horcrux being in Hogwarts, accompanies Harry in an almost suicide mission to the school. There he, quite brilliantly as often repeated by Hermione, goes back to the Chamber of Secrets to take out a Basilisk fang to kill the Horcrux with. After this, the big kiss takes place. After that he is a devoted boyfriend to Hermione, and goes after Crabbe and Goyle for cursing at her. Then he tells Harry to tap into Voldemort's mind one last time so as to find the last Horcrux, destroy it, and end it all. Through the destructive and terrifying battle of Hogwarts, they go and find Voldemort. Upon return, we see a very sad, albeit miniscule, shot of Ron crying over the body of a loved one. After this, Ron loses practically loses all his meaning, and doesn't even hug Harry- his best friend, who is going to sacrifice himself. A flip of what he did in the first film- I don't think so. There is just one great moment for Ron after this, when he- the scaredy boy all his life, holds on to Hermione, with all the love and warmth and protection he can provide her with, when Nagini is about to strike them. That doesn't happen ofcourse, thanks to the BAMF heroic Neville. When it is all over, Ron stands with his two friends...maybe not at his rightful place, but happy and content at last.

Final Thoughts- As I said above, Ron was robbed of his true role. Ron was supposed to be the best, most important friend of Harry's, and as the film progressed, he was reduced to the funny sidekick always with a sarcastic retort or gift of physical comedy. Still, Ron was widely loved, because one always loves the funny guy. And he's a redhead, so 5000 bonus points for that. There was a total chemistry between him and practically everyone- even Lavendar. Rupert Grint can do great and hilarious facial expressions, and as JK Rowling said in an interview- it felt like he totally got Ron inside-out. Ofcourse Steve Kloves was more in love with Hermione than Ron was, and didn't give Grint a total opportunity to show off that deep understanding of his. A lesser actor would not have been able to take Ron to the popularity and love like Grint was able to. Ron is the best friend we all want, someone who is there for you- getting in trouble, saving your life, and never leaving your side for anything in the world, and very importantly- making you laugh and happy. While the book Ron was all of this, our filmy one was true and cute and loveable nonetheless.

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