Monday, 1 August 2011

"Me? Books and cleverness. There are more important things: friendship and bravery" ~Hermione Granger

         If one was going to ask me if I liked Ron or Hermione better in the books, I would repeatedly change my answer. Ron is the funny, sweet, supportive best friend, and Hermione is the best nerdy girl character of all time. But in the films, no doubt about it- Hermione is the queen. And this is hardly her, or Emma Watson's fault. Steve Kloves, the screenwriter has made the biggest love story of the series with Hermione and himself. I mean I thought I was delusional, but this guy...he's creepy obsessed. Still, Hermione is as lovely and strong and spunky as she can be, and she is my second most favourite character of the film series.

HP and the Sorcerer's Stone

"Now if you two don't mind, I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed - or worse, expelled."

I liked Hermione from the start. Maybe it was because I was like her as a kid, and liked showing off my intelligence (barely do that now). Also I was a goody two-shoes, and would have probably use the quote above; or have been all dismissive of someone breaking rules going "What an idiot!"; or even, if you can believe me, said "LeviOsar, not Leviosa." And then she becomes their friend, and starts breaking rules like only the trio can. As said in the Ron article, her life-long love-bickering relationship with Ron starts now. This is the first time they fight, and he causes her to cry, and though this happens many times throughout the series, we see how affected she is by Ron from the get-go. Her promptness, her expertise, her emotions, and her look- all is characteristic of Hermione. I have always believed that without Hermione, the other two would have died in the first half-hour of the first film and Voldemort would have won! Hermione helps them in the Devil Snare obstacle, and though she tells Harry that she's only about books and cleverness, we know that she is all about friendship and bravery too. She too gets rewarded in the end, and she just looks so darling there.

HP and the Chamber of Secrets

"Fear of a name only increases fear of the thing itself."

Hermione's magical genius is even more impressive because of the fact that she is Muggle-born. But from this film onwards, it starts creating problems. The very Hitler's-perfect-German-looking Draco starts calling her mudblood. Now in general, that's where I think JK Rowling got her idea of Voldemort and Death Eaters and purebloods/halfbloods/mudbloods from. So Hermione is like the poster girl for "Mudblood and Proud" as she is clearly better than Draco in every possible way. As the Chamber of Secrets is opened, her own survival is at risk. She brews the Polyjuice potion to trick Draco into telling Harry and Ron things about the Chamber of Secrets, something noone in her year could have possible make. She obviously puts cat hair in her potion instead and gets transformed into part cat. Afterwards, in true Hermione fashion, she finds out about the monster of the Chamber of Secrets, but is soon petrified. It is using her knowledge of this monster- the Basilisk, that Harry and Ron are able to enter the Chamber and slay it and protect Ginny. The ending, when she is cured and comes running into the Great Hall, and hugs shows the connection both of them have. Then ofcourse is the Ron almost-hug, which is very cute too.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

"You! You foul, loathsome, evil little cockroach!"

I wouldn't say that this used to be THE Hermione film for me, but she was my favourite in this, and in among all the films till the seventh one. Why? Because Hermione became oh so spunky in this. Ask Draco's flattened nose. Or an insulted Trelawney. Her bickering with Ron continues, this time on account of their pets. There is also a running gag throughout the film on how she just keeps appearing out of nowhere. We find out in the end that it's because of her Time Turner, that she used to take a billion classes throughout the year. When Harry first finds out that Sirius was the apparent betrayer of his parents and that led to their deaths, it is Hermione who goes to him and comforts him. She always has a motherly side to emotional one. We can see this when she starts crying at the thought of Buckbeak dying, Then she tries to come between Harry and Sirius because she thinks he'll harm Harry. And when Lupin comes, she tells him how she had figured out that he is a werewolf, leading him to call her "the cleverest witch in her year." But the moment she really kicks into action is when she goes back in time with Harry (Ron is conveniently injured) to try and save Buckbeak and Sirius. They do that, very brilliantly, and Sirius agrees with the earlier statement made by Lupin. This statement is repeated a few times in the series, and with good reason. As said earlier, without Hermione, so many lives would have been lost.

HP and the Goblet of Fire

"I'm not an owl!"

One of the things very apparent in the film-Hermione is her very strong sense of right and wrong. For example, when in this film Mad-Eye Moody shows the class Unforgivable Curses, she is clearly made uncomfortable about it. She doesn't even answer Moody's question about Avada Kedavra, despite her a-grade student status, because she thinks it will bother Harry. Later, when Harry's name comes out of the Goblet of Fire and Ron has a huge fight with Harry about it, she is the communication cord between them, though not voluntarily. Her fear for Harry's life in the first task of the Triwizard Tournament is obvious, and her reaction to Harry and Ron's weird reconciliation is hilarious- "Boys." Then ofcourse, the Yule Ball is announced. Unlike the oblivious Ron, Viktor Krum makes a move on her and asks her out. Ron ofcourse, like an idiot, asks her last which enrages her. And then at the Yule Ball, the beautiful swan moment takes place for her- Hermione looks beyond beautiful and leaves everyone, including Harry, speechless. This was also the moment I realised that the bushy Hermione of the book has been lost forever as Emma Watson is going to grow up to be more beautiful than anyone would have expected. Ron is obviously made jealous by this, but he doesn't understand his feelings, even though Hermione does. That shot of her crying on the stairs after their argument, is so sad and so endearing at the same time as we see how this girl is growing up to be a woman. After this, her role in the film reduces except that she is Krum's "stolen item" in the second task. At the end, after Voldemort's return, and the last day of school  the always wise Hermione asks- "It's all going to change now, isn't it?" to which Harry, in his characteristic dry humour way, answers "Yes."

HP and the Order of Phoenix

"Who cares? I mean, it's sort of exciting, isn't it, breaking the rules."

At the beginning of this film, we see how much it affects Hermione that Harry is shutting them out of his world, and how troubled he is. She and Ron are in a peaceful state throughout this film. When Umbridge comes, Hermione starts hating the fact that they are neither learning how to defend themselves nor pass their OWLs, which causes her to form Dumbledore's Army with Harry as their teacher. In the first meeting, her support fpr Harry is clear as day. She also notices girlier things like the feelings between Harry and Cho. Again, I must talk about the scene after Harry and Cho's kiss, when she defends Harry's kissing skills and then tells Ron that he has an emotional range of a tea spoon, and all three end up laughing about it. This shows the importance of friendship in her life. She is also a very able member of DA. When Hagrid introduces the trio to his half-brother, and giant, Grawp, it is Hermione's motherly attitude that Grawp ends up liking. Afterwards, when Fred and George are breaking out of the school and everyone is rejoicing and Harry gets a vision of Sirius being kidnapped, it is Hermione who first notices that something is wrong with him. She tries to reason with him, but as Harry is usually stubborn about this things, she agrees to go with him to help him. But Umbridge catches them and in order to save Harry from her evil clutches, she weaves a story up and takes them to the Forbiddem Forest. Over there again we see how she feels protective towards all living things as she tries to help an otherwise deadly centaur, to break free from the strangling ropes that Umbridge had cast on him. When in the Department of Mysteries, she fights well with the Death Eaters.

HP and the Half-Blood Prince

"He's been poisoned, you daft dimbo! And as a matter of fact, I've always found him interesting."

Like Dumbledore remarks later, "Oh, to be young and to feel love's keen sting." Practically this whole film is about that with Hermione. Now sixteen, her feelings for Ron are coming out in leaps and bounds. From a little spearmint toothpaste on her face, to using the Confundus Charm on Cormac during Quidditch tryouts, so that Ron gets the Keeper position in place of him; and from babbling about snogging at the most inappropriate times, to being visibly hurt at seeing Ron and Lavendar kiss in public- it's all out there. Hermione is so adorable in her lovesick state in this film. Her reactions to the tentacle-y Cormack's very explicit approaches, attacking Ron with charmed's all part of a little game called love. She tells Harry after the Won Won-Lav Lav kiss that he is her best friend, and that is what really resounds with me. She keeps trying to save him from "wrong influences" like attention-seeking Romilda Vane, and understands his feelings towards Ginny immediately (even if we don't). Later on, when Ron is recovering from being poisoned in the hospital wing, she first has a really embarrassing argument with Lavendar in front of all then professors, and her reaction to when Ron starts saying her name repeatedly is so priceless, and she looks happier than ever. Then again, stupid Ron forgets this, and her disappointed reaction is also very touching. In the end, when Harry is about to leave to look for the remaining Horcruxes, she tells him that they, and Ron ofcourse, are in this together and that he needs them, and they will all go.

HP and the Deathly Hallows, part 1

"Actually I'm highly logical which allows me to look past extraneous detail and perceive clearly that which others overlook."

This, THIS, is my Hermione film. Emma Watson, when she had been the cast, was the only one in the trio who had never acted before. So, despite Kloves's infatuation, she was a bit of the weaker link. But in this film, she stole the show. First there was the scene in which she removes the memory of her from her parents' mind (a scene that I have completely forgotten to include in my favourite heartfelt scenes). This scene shows the sacrifice that she has made for Harry's sake, and for the greater good. She, like Ron and the others, risks her life by transforming herself into Harry for transporting him. When the Ministry falls and Death Eaters take over, Hermione jumps into action. Her beaded Mary Poppins bag is only a symbol to show how much they have been preparing, As Ron rightly said, they won't last two days without her. The duel in the coffee place shows how brave and skilled she has become. When they hide out in Grimmauld Place, we see her and Ron growing closer. After they break into the Ministry and in their escape Ron gets splinched, Hermione tries to cure him. Her crying and shaking, and then immediately getting up to putting protective charms around the place, we see how strong she has become. While they are on the road, Hermione tries to keep everything together. She understands Harry better than anyone, and when he screams at her under the influence of the locket Horcrux, she knows that it's not him speaking, but the locket. When Ron goes berserk and leaves them, Hermione is crushed, but still doesn't leave Harry's side because she, like always, has complete faith in Harry. Dumbledore had left her his copy of Tales of Beedle the Bard as part of his will. In this, the highly logical Hermione finds the sign of the Deathly Hallows and she and Harry go to Godrick's Hollow to get some more clues, and maybe a Horcrux. There they find Harry's parents' graves, and like the understanding and supporting friend she always was, she creates a bouquet of flowers for them. Later, when Ron returns and destroys the locket, she is enraged to see him at first...but his explanation about the deluminator and how the ball of light with her voice went inside his chest, she is left speechless. She still appears angry- "I'm always mad at him." When they are captured by Snatchers, she is tortured by Bellatrix. They don't show her much, but her scream scares us more than anything. They escape ofcourse, with a 'Mudblood' carved into her arm. So throughout, we see a more determined, stronger and supportive Hermione, one who will be there for Harry through thick and thin, and is in love with the boy who annoys her so much: Ron.

HP and the Deathly Hallows, part 2

"I'll go with you."

Hermione in this gets our attention first not as Hermione, but rather in disguise as Bellatrix. When they break into the vault, it is Hermione's quick thinking that saves them there...especially flying out on the dragon. Then once in Hogwarts, Ron takes over unexpectedly, and finally. Every idea from him is quickly deemed as brilliant! And as said before, the kiss happens, and Ron's exertion is clearly admired by her. Her moment in this comes when Harry is about to sacrifice himself, and she just knows and tells him that she'll go with him. That one line, and we have to reevaluate the depth of what this friendship means for her. She also tries to kill Nagini, but our hero Neville takes care of that. In the end, when she stands in between the two, holding their hands, we can understand how happy she is. 

Final thoughts- Hermione in the films was practically flawless, especially towards the end. The filmmakers, now even I have started to believe, were Harry and Hermione shippers to some extent. Except I think it is only great platonic love and understanding they have for each other. Throughout the films, they have never fought and Hermione always stood for Harry, and risked everything for him and her belief in him. The chemistry between her and Ron was adorable too, ever since they were little kids. Noone would have figured that by the time she grew up, Emma Watson would become a gorgeous human being, but still, she was Hermione through and through. Friendship and bravery were as much a part of Hermione as they were of any of the heroes, and she has made a generation of clever girls proud.

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