Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Why movie Fleur Delacour puzzles Harry Potter book fans

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In 2005’s Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the fourth film in the series, there’s a scene in which Ron is embarrassed after impulsively asking Fleur to the Yule Ball dance, an invitation that she would never accept, as she is a gorgeous French 17-year-old Triwizard champion and Ron is an awkward 14-year-old with no game to speak of. He saw her walking by and felt overcome by the urge to ask her out. Ron is publicly rejected, and has to cope with the shame. The scene plays out very similarly to how it does in the book, but with one crucial difference.

“They keep it almost word for word, describing how he was enchanted and in a trance,” PetevonPete writes. “But they cut out the explanation that Fleur is part-Veela, in fact they cut out the existence of Veela entirely, so in the film it just looks like Ron is really stupid.”

It’s certainly in keeping with Ron Weasley’s character to act without thinking — especially at this point in the series — but it’s true that this moment makes him look ridiculous in a way that’s basically inexplicable in the context of the movie. Director Mike Newell and screenwriter Steve Kloves have never really explained why they left Veela out of Goblet of Fire, but the choice to not include the magical beings changes the nature of Hogwarts boys’ lascivious reactions to the Beauxbatons girls when they arrive at the school for the Triwizard Tournament. “The boys now look like hormone fueled heathens cheering at hot girls versus actually being powerless over the power of Veela,” user Pisforplumbing wrote in another Reddit post about the absence of Veela in the movies.

Whatever the reason, Ron’s Fleur mishap is another moment in which the movies make Ron look dumber than he does in the books, and a glaring example of the necessity of proper context.

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