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Rasputin Review

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The Tsars wife Alexandra Romanov 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.

★★★★

If the limit of your knowledge on Gregory Rasputin is derived from the dancefloor, this should come as something of an education. A little dry in places, perhaps (although the imminent fall of Imperial Russia and near extermination of the Romanov line isn't exactly replete with laughs) but as an informative and entertaining history lesson with dramatic edge, it warrants high marks.

Whether he actually saw the Virgin Mary or had simply taken a drop too much Smirnoff, itinerant monk Rasputin displayed a remarkable healing power when summoned as a last resort to the sickbed of haemophiliac son of Tsar Nicholas (McKellen). And his bedside manner extended a little further than Russian heirs to the throne, as he invited women to get closer to God by sleeping with him.

Nevertheless, Tsarina (Greta Scacchi) was well-disposed towards Rasputin, although in this version there's only a passing reference that he scored with the Russian queen, whatever Boney M would have you believe. That he was a ranting, wild-eyed, beardy, spooky old fish with a deft medical touch and spiritual litany is more than supported though, and while Rickman's accent strays near Brucie's Die Hard nemesis Hans Gruber, his full-blown performance richly deserves its Golden Globe.

A well made biopic, with sharp acting especially in the lead role from Rickman