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In 1910s Russia, Tsar Nicholas II and his wife Alexandra find their son Alexei, sole heir to the Romanov dynasty, suffering from hemophelia and conventional medicine failing to help him. Alexandra looks into finding holistic treatment and finds Father Grigori Rasputin, a destitute monk who claims he had a vision from the Virgin Mary telling him that the Tsar needed him. Though Nicholas and the royal doctor are both skeptical of Rasputin's alleged healing abilities, young Alexei quickly bonds with the charleton/prophet, so he remains in the Royal Court. But Rasputin's constant boozing and womanizing angers the aristocracy and worsens the already unstable tensions between Nicholas and his subjects. With the seeds of revolution brewing, it becomes increasingly apparent that a bad end awaits for the entire Royal Family. Written by
The film's cliffhanger ending suggests Alexei may have survived the massacre at Ipatev House, as his body (along with one of his sisters') had never been recovered. However, some 11 years after this film's release, remains found near the Ipatev House site were unearthed and confirmed to be Alexei's, thus rendering this film's ambiguous finale anachronistic. See more »
The movie shows various historical events in incorrect time sequence. For example, the movie depicts Stolypin as being assassinated after the outbreak of the First World War, whereas he was assassinated in 1911 and the First World War started in 1914. Similarly, the movie has the Empress saying at the 1913 Romanov tercentenary celebration that she has been suffering for twelve years on account of the Tsarevich's illness, whereas in fact the Tsarevich was born in 1904. See more »
For once, after all the nonsense written and shown about the infamous Grigori Rasputin, this film makes an excellent effort at accuracy and objectivity. The characters look incredibly like the historical people they play: Alexis (The heir and narrator), the Tsar (Masterfully played by Ian Mc Kellam), the four daughters; unfortunately, the character of the Empress, Alexandra, is terrible; not only does she not look like her but portrays none of Alexandra's personality (Unlike the excellent job done by Janet Suzman in Nicholas and Alexandra). The movie is breathtaking in its on-location shots, especially St. Petersburg and the interiors of the palace. With so much effort put into accuracy, though, I don't understand how, with the climax of the film, Rasputin's murderers are incomplete: it was not just Felix Yussupov but the Tsar's nephew and favorite, Grand Duke Dmitri, who pulled off the killing. This movie completely excludes Dmitri. Still, if the viewer is just looking for an above average account of the strangest period in history (Without looking TOO close), this movie will do the trick.
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