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YMMV / The Tsars Bride

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  • Adaptation Displacement: Lev Mey's play is only remembered nowadays as Rimsky-Korsakov's source of inspiration.
  • Alternate Character Interpretation:
    • Malyuta Skuratov is either a very cheerful Affably Evil guy, honestly devoted to the Tsar and to his friends and the only person who really cares about poor Lyubasha’s well-being, or someone whose world is limited to drinking, girls, and beating others up.
    • Either Bomelius really can do a bit of magic, is honest in his own way and keeps his end of any bargain, or he is just a charlatan who swindles his way through life. There is the point that Lyubasha asked him for a poison that wouldn’t really kill but would only destroy one’s beauty, and then Marfa died. However, it might be that she was killed because of the cumulative effect of the poison and the stress.
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    • Had Lyubasha’s feelings for Gryaznoi appeared due to Stockholm Syndrome, or had there been some more adequate relationship development?
  • Heartwarming Moments: In many productions, including the 1965 opera film, the entire relationship of Malyuta Skuratov and Lyubasha. It’s both that and a Tear Jerker moment when you realize that a hardened cynical oprichnik who killed so many people is the only one who even remembers she’s there without being reminded, takes care to be kind to her, inquires about her health and in the end mourns her death.
    • And in some stagings, in the ending he goes all Papa Wolf, beating or even killing either Gryaznoi, Bomelius, or both. Granted, it might also be because they have committed high treason which is unforgivable in Malyuta’a eyes, but it’s often shown that it’s after Lyubasha’s final monologue and death that he grows mad with rage.


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