Anastasia Anastasia
Film Date :   1997
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Anastasia

Anastasia

On the 300th anniversary of Romanov rule, Czar Nicholas II hosts a grand ball at the royal palace. During this celebration, his mother, Dowager Empress Marie Feodorovna, gives her favorite granddaughter, 8-year-old Grand Duchess Anastasia a music box and a necklace reading "Together in Paris", which serves as its key. The ball is interrupted by the arrival of Grigori Rasputin, a staretz, who sold his soul to gain the power of sorcery. Rasputin plans to gain his revenge through a curse to destroy the Romanov family that sparks the Russian Revolution. During the storming of the palace, a servant boy, Dimitri, helps Anastasia and Marie to escape. Rasputin attempts to kill Anastasia himself, but falls through the ice in the river and drowns. While Anastasia is escaping, she drops her music box in the panic. Anastasia and Marie eventually reach a moving train, but only Marie is able to get on as Anastasia trips and hits her head on the station platform, forcing Marie to leave her behind.

Ten years later, Russia is now under Communist rule; Marie, now residing in Paris, has offered a monetary reward for anyone who can return Anastasia to her. Two Russian conmen living in Saint Petersburg, Dimitri and Vladimir, decide to find a young girl to pass off as Anastasia. Elsewhere, an amnesiac, 18 year old orphan girl named Anya who owns the same necklace as Anastasia, has just left her orphanage and has decided to learn about her past, because she has no recollection of the first eight years of her life. Accompanied by Pooka, a stray dog, she heads to Saint Petersburg, and soon encounters Dimitri and Vladimir, who recruit her as their "fake" Anastasia. During the trip to Paris, the two men teach Anya how to behave like Anastasia and Anya and Dimitri realize a mutual attraction. In Dimitri's baggage is Anastasia's music box. Anya recalls some small facts that she remembers from her past, though nobody realizes it.

Meanwhile, Rasputin is revealed to still be alive, but trapped in limbo as a living corpse: unable to die because Anastasia had not been killed. Bartok, his cowardly bat servant, unwittingly brings him his magical reliquary, thus restoring his old powers. Rasputin summons a legion of demons to kill Anya and complete his revenge, resulting in two failed attempts that make him realize he must kill her in person.

The trio eventually arrive in Paris and meet Sophie, Marie's lady-in-waiting and first cousin, who is in charge of interviewing the Anastasia lookalikes. However, Marie, tired of heartbreak, has declared not to hold anymore interviews. Despite this, Sophie sees Anya as a favour to Vladimir; Anya plays her part well, but when Sophie asks how she escaped the palace, Anya dimly recalls a servant boy opening a secret door, surprising both Dimitri and Vladimir when this was one fact they failed to teach her. Dimitri later reveals to Vladimir that he was the servant boy in her memory, meaning that Anya is the real Anastasia and has found her home and family; nonetheless, he is saddened by this truth, because, although he loves her, he says that "princesses don't marry kitchen boys."

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