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News"Loving Ranevskaya is not easy" - MK

“Loving Ranevskaya is not easy” – MK


To make a film about Ranevskaya is to reinvent her, to add another drop of myth. To play Ranevskaya is to become a shadow of this truly magnificent, non-trivial actress who cannot be repeated, one cannot be a copy of her.

You have to love it first, that’s all. And it’s not easy. When she appeared in the theater, everyone fled, in every way, because falling under her acerbic word, in the mood – watch out, watch out. Brought to tears, yes, and attendants, and grand masters. When the Almighty God and the Tsar of the Mossovet Theater Yuri Zavadsky during a rehearsal shouted to her in their hearts: “Get off the stage!”, She (no one even had time to blink) him immediately said, “Get out of the art!” Cut. And this despite the fact that Zavadsky idolized him.

She was fluent in spoken Russian. And she didn’t like hypocrites. “There is a donkey, but there is no word,” she tossed to the astonished audience an immortal aphorism of her own composition on the fifth point, the basis of everything and everything, and even those who frowned in disgust as they uttered an audience notion out loud.

Such a Fufu (as Ranevskaya was called in the theater behind her back, which means her grandmother constantly pulled on a cigarette – “Fuf, fuf”) had to be accepted, understood, loved and noted. Director Dmitry Petrun and three screenwriters at once – Larisa Zholobova, Alina Semeryakova and Yuri Moroz – succeeded, agreed. Such an immersion in the life of Ranevskaya with all the nuances, deviations, oddities, triumphs and tragedies came out. Or rather, of course, they built, blinded to what was, they invented Ranevskaya, put their own accents. Fufa is a woman, that’s what interested them above all. Not even like that: Fufa is a beautiful, flawless woman, with all her contradictions, bells and whistles. Ranevskaya is a girl, Ranevskaya is a sister who lost her parents forever after the tragic break in October 1917. This irretrievable loss in many ways is the explanation for her self-defense of eccentricity, quarrelsomeness, complete loneliness and cherished by her, guarded.

But to love such a character in the image of a character, an actress – “Spring” – this is not enough. Even taking on the main role, the wonderful and elegant Marietta Tsigal-Polishchuk is also not enough (although there, in heaven, mother Lyubov must have been so happy for her daughter). From Marietta in the photo, a radiance emanates, a kind of special warmth. But even that is not enough. Of time and of itself, that is to say of a landslide (starfall?) of lived years, of eras – how to show it? Pre-revolutionary Ranevskaya (then still Feldman), and these are the first three episodes – in my opinion, lucky. Because there is a detachment, that is, a possibility of looking at this life from the outside, of giving perspective, the necessary optics of all this decadent Silver Age absurdity. But the Soviet context is already separate stories, sometimes unrelated to each other, where time flies, evaporates, and the plot, and with it the main character, exists, so to speak , in the airless space around a fictional character. the life that disintegrated outside the context of pure realism. Perhaps the authors wanted to show the essence of flying over the world, Ranevskaya’s life, but the miracle did not happen, it did not happen.

Yeah, they didn’t make a funny old woman out of it, Freken Bock, thanks for that. And they even showed him the famous: “Pioneers, go to hell!” – to the joyful exclamations of children: “Mulya, don’t make me nervous!” But they did not show how Brezhnev, awarding Fufu, a three-time Stalin Prize laureate, the Hero of Socialist Labor Medal, also addressed her as these “pioneers” (this Mulya was given to everyone world!) … No, she did not send the General Secretary to this very famous place and affectionately spanked a bass: “Leonid Ilyich, well, you are like some kind of tyrant.”

They didn’t show how she sits in the dressing room, undressed and smoking. Then there is a knock on the door, the director of the Moscow City Council Theater enters (according to another version, it was Rostislav Plyatt) – and Fufa instantly: “Can I smoke?”

And how Ranevskaya stumbled on the sidewalk, fell, lies and turns to passers-by: “Well, come get me, folk artists don’t lie on the road.”

And they didn’t talk about “who you’re friends against” and “spitting into eternity.” I understand they didn’t want to make an ongoing Fufa anecdote out of the show. Well, well done, but excessive sentimentality doesn’t sit well with this quick-witted woman either.

Her friendship with Akhmatova, with Pavla Wolf is a special article, a song. And she brought special young actresses closer to her, with her own cut – Elena Kamburova, Marina Neyolova, and she nailed Iya Savvina with a “mixture of a rattlesnake and a bell” – after all, Ranevskaya could have call so.

I sent money in envelopes to everyone and everyone, I didn’t even have to ask. No, she was not alone, of course: she lived with Pushkin Alexander Sergeevich, he materialized in her small apartment, and the old bastard Boy, whom she picked up on the street. The door to his house was never locked, it was in case of another heart attack, so neighbors, if any, could hear and help.

All of his comedy episodes went to the people. Many of these films have already been forgotten, but everyone remembers what Ranevskaya looked like. I’m lying, not everyone, those born in the 21st century might not even know who Ranevskaya is. Yes, too bad, but “I don’t have any other writers for you”.

And she only has two really big dramatic (no, tragic) roles. In the cinema, this is Romm’s pre-war film “Dream”, where she played a Jewish mother from Polish life in such a way that US President Roosevelt, who saw this, without wiping the tears from his eyes, called Faina the greatest actress in the world. And in the theater – “Further – silence”, where she shines with her eternal partner Rostislav Plyatt, and the whole audience cries at the end. Although Plyatt himself (there, the cynical and ironic nature of the artist) said that people come to the theater to watch Fufu, like a giraffe in a zoo. Well, so be it, watch, people, and learn while she was still alive.

In old age, Ranevskaya became very beautiful. There is such a type of women, here is also Galina Volchek. You look at her in “Further – Silence”, you can’t take your eyes off her. And in her last interview, which she gave a year before her death to Natalya Krymova, Efros’ wife, Fufa is unusually charming. And there is no “rattlesnake”, but only one “bell”. “Faina Georgievna, why did you go from theater to theater so often?” Krimova asks. “I was looking for sacred art.” – “Find?” – “I found it. In the Tretyakov Gallery”.

“She flew away, but promised to come back. Honey, honey…”

… I wanted to write about the series, but it turned out to be about Ranevskaya. Only about Ranevskaya. Sorry.

Copyright © 2023 The Eastern Herald.

Russia Desk
Russia Desk
The Eastern Herald’s Russia Desk validates the stories published under this byline. That includes editorials, news stories, letters to the editor, and multimedia features on


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