So, Happy Ending, Rasputin is dead, Anastasia is found and is the heir for the Romanovs, but whatever regime is ruling in Russia now won't just let the daughter of an oppressive monarch take over. What to do now?
And then? Anastasia doesn't 'want' to rule. She's just going to live a peaceful life without anybody to discover who she really is, tra la la la. Even if she did want to rule, the Soviets would be quick to point out that by law, only a man can inherit the throne in Russia.
Technically speaking, the Pauline Laws allow for a female to inherit if there are no eligible males (Primogeniture Agnatic-Cognatic succession), and there are in fact several famous Russian Empresses that ruled in their own right (Catherine the Great especially comes to mind). Still, the point of the revolution was to depose the monarchy, so the Soviets are unlikely to acknowledged any claim Anastasia has. Paris and a few other nations might be willing to support her, given the Soviets had most the rest of the world scared, but Ana doesn't seem like the type to go to war, and cause a lot of innocent deaths, in the name of personal power.
If the story's Anna Anderson basis counts for anything, the significance of Anna Anderson's claim to being Anastasia was that it supported her legal claim to the remaining Romanov fortune. In the end, this was denied to her because she was never legally recognized as Anastasia (which is good, because she was a fake). As for the movie, Anya eloped with Dimitri, which I guess is supposed to account for why history regards her as dead/disappeared.
How did Rasputin sell his own soul for a substitute?
It just doesn't make sense. Its not a Soul Jar, it literally is what his soul was exchanged for. According to the movie's logic, his life and very existence now depend on it's existence. If his reliquary is destroyed, he ceases to exist. I understand every writer is different and their interpretation varies, BUT HOW can a person's soul, i.e. the eternal incorporeal part of you, can be both simultaneously transplanted and substituted, for something that's not a soul?
The ontology of this baffles me. That's like switching your soul, your very essence and being, for a lava lamp! HOW does that work!?
This never occurred to me. I was more like, why are there dancing bugs? This is embarrassing. Anyway, does it help at all to think of it like a horcrux. Like, there is some part of him still in his body but when he sold his soul, the greater part of it was transformed into a more magical version of a soul. A version that can send weird ghost demon astral projections out into the world.
I always thought that this was a Deal with the Devil-type situation. I.e. the deal was that he traded his soul to Satan or some other reigning evil being for the reliquary. So when it's destroyed, the deal is up, and his soul is destroyed.
When I was a kid (and a more spiritual person) I was under the impression that a soul is the person and the body is the flesh that wraps the soul around (therefore thatís what a ghost is, a soul with no body) and I think thatís still the official position of many religions, yet Hollywood seems to follow another logic with the idea that the soul is basically like a part of the person that can be subtracted but not the person him/herself as shown in media like that episode of The Simpsons when Bart loses his soul or all the Buffy the Vampire Slayer mythos. So I guess this is the same logic.
I figured he was a sort of lich. As long as his phylactery was intact, he could live in an undead state forever.
How did Rasputin's corpse end up in Limbo? Yeah, his body can still die, but he just ends up undead. So why isn't he still at the bottom of the frozen lake?
What was the deal with place Rasputin went to when he died? Was it actually inside the Earth? Was it another dimension?
It was the center of the earth without doubt. Why? Er...because the Kool-Aid Man is red?
It was limbo. Rasputin went there because he couldn't die properly until he had killed every one of the Romanovs as a part of the deal he made with "the dark forces".
Okay. So why is Limbo full of singing bugs? I mean, it would make some sort of sense if they were realistically-sized insects infesting Rasputin's rotting body, but they're not. They're bat-sized... things... that just happen to hang around between Earth and Hell. What are they doing there?
Singing and dancing.
It might not explain much, but if I recall correctly the bugs only rise from the ground when Rasputin starts using his reliquary, suggesting he may have created/summoned/attracted them with his magic. Why he would do that is another question entirely.
The man is completely bonkers, as anyone would after being in limbo for that long (at least I'm assuming that would happen to someone).
I never understood that it was any kind of supernatural place, just a kind of mass grave. These bugs were busy eating the other corpses around when they see a moving one coming around. Yum ! What's interesting there is the symbolism you can find. In the song, Rasputin seems to like the bugs. He literally hugs them at one point. He isn't conscious that they're dying to eat him. And that is the symbol of his deal with Hell. He thinks they're his friends, but the only thing they're interested in is taking his soul away.
Okay, let's move all the historical inaccuracies aside and assume that this is some kind of alternate universe. But the train station scene in the beginning... Who the heck would call an eight-year-old girl Anastasia in an informal situation? Yes, on some kind of ceremony, she would be referred to as Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanova, but here, in the fray, she would just be Nastya.
Convenience for the western audience no doubt. This troper had no idea that "Nastya" was the informal version of "Anastasia" and she doubts that many children who see the movie would, either.
In the orphanage Anastasia was taken to, wouldn't they have taken that shiny gold necklace away from her? In that time period I doubt she would've been allowed to keep it considering how douchey most orphanage directors were back then.
Do you really think all orphanage directors were jerks? Bad is usually more memorable. Good is easily forgotten, unfortunately. There is a difference between gruff and being a jerk. If you want to look at it more cynically, though, the necklace probably wasn't worth much (it is inscribed and not exactly decorative). Its not like the director is going to easily find a buyer in the Communist Soviet Union that would make it worth causing a scene in the orphanage. Why cause yourself a headache for almost no gain? Remember, Dmitri bought a really nice coat for only 1 ruble. How much do you think a tiny piece of junk is going to go for even if it is gold?
A little girl who looks exactly like Anastasia Romanova is found dazed and confused at a train station and NO ONE figures out who she is? She actually tells Dmitri "I was found wandering around when I was eight years old." That and seeing how many were at the train station, how many people could have heard the Dowager Empress's cry of "ANASTASIA!" Seriously, how did nobody realize who she was?!
If I saw that, I would say, "You know, she looks so much like Princess Anastasia. Weird, Huh?" not, "That must be Anastasia." No one really expects anything interesting to happen to them.
Well, everyone was kind of busy: Either getting the hell out of Russia or getting the good loot while it was still around, depending on what side you were on. Not to mention all the other yelling, the sounds of the train station...
Additionally, Anastasia was a popular name for Russian girls born around Easter, meaning "she who will rise again." It would be like hearing someone shout "Harry!" in a train station in England — you wouldn't assume they were calling for the prince. Or for the Chosen One, for that matter.
Old train stations can be noisy if millions of people are trying to get out of there. Plus, the Dowager Empress didn't say 'GRAND DUCHESS ANASTASIA'! She just pronounced a name, for Rasputin's sake! AND there was no TV, the pictures were black and white, and most of the population didn't have access to even read a newspaper, so yeah...
Even assuming those who found her knew she was really the Grand Duchess, they probably didn't want to send her to her death and just ignored the fact.
Besides the necklace, which really doesn't prove anything, there is just a little girl wandering around some small town, they probably didn't have any reason to think she was Anastasia.
So, if Rasputin needs to kill off all the Romanovs to fulfill the curse, why is the Dowager Empress apparently exempt?
... Senior's discount?
Or possibly it's because she's only a Romanov by marriage.
...And her biological clock stopped a long time ago.
I think Rasputin meant people who were descended from the current Czar's line, and the Dowager Empress was his mother, so she wouldn't qualify.
Exactly. He specifies "the end of the Romanov line". Empress Marie wasn't of the line, so even if she'd still been young enough to have more kids later, none of them would have counted.
Why does Anastasia's hair change length throughout the film? During the "Anya" scenes, while some of it is tied up, there is clearly a loose portion in the back that's about shoulder-length. Then, from the scene on the ship onwards, it's suddenly waist-length. That never made sense to me.
I think it was trying to show the passage of time. The "You Can Learn To Do It" sequence could have taken long enough for her hair to have grown out to waist-length. Her ponytail is arguably longer at the end of that sequence.
I have hair that goes past my waist, but when it's clipped up properly, it barely brushes the base of my neck. Totally possible that her hair grew out, but was kept in place with hair clips. Or bobby pins, or whatever she used.
Actually, if you look closely, the ponytail seems to be secured by a braid rather than a hair clip. So she could be braiding a good bit of it and wrapping it around.
That's pretty much it. I've done that hairstyle myself, when mine was long. From the look of it, she twisted it, pulled it up, and literally tied it in a knot, which is where the short bit of ponytail comes from. It's a convenient way to put it up without needing hairpins or anything, which a poor Russian orphan probably wouldn't have had access to.
When I was younger I had an Anastasia doll which had hair you could make longer or shorter. So I guess she grows her hair by turning a dial on her back. Or maybe not...
Vlad. Even though he is a genuinely nice guy, he was in on the plot to get the Dowager Empress's reward money. I find it rather funny that he is willing to deceive his "cream puff" whom he clearly loves very much. When Anastasia finds out about the con, Dmitri gets all the blame, but Vlad doesn't even get a mention. The next time he is seen, he's dressing up fancy for the party celebrating Anastasia's reunion with her grandmother. Talk about getting off the hook real easy.
Puts another dimension onto his character, doesn't it? He's an aristocrat turned con artist who is boning the Dowager Empress's cousin/assistant. With those connections and experience, it would be easy for him to weasel out of any tight situation.
This. He explicitly tells Anastasia that he was a member of the Imperial court. The Empress probably knew him. Maybe she figured he'd been caught up in the swindling plot not for money, but for a way to escape Russia.
I actually thought he was gay, and that his relationship with Sophie was just one of the usual super-flirtatious gay-guy straight-lady friendships that were pretty typical around that point in time. This is totally irrelevant, I know.
I wasn't alive in the 20s but it seems pretty clear they had a sexual relationship.
The reward probably wasn't as important for Vlad as it was for Dimitri. As a past member of the imperial court and someone who actually knew the Empress and her circle, when he reached Paris he probably had wealthy friends and support to turn to. (Especially if he married/got together with Sophie he wouldn't really need the money). The reward would just give him an income and fortune of his own again. Meanwhile Dimitri was a former servant and certainly wouldn't be accepted into elite society like Vlad, so the reward money was his only real shot at building a new life for himself. If the con failed, Vlad could just say his main reason for coming was to reunite with Sophie/old friends, and genuinely thought the girl was the "real Anastasia." (Which is probably what he told the Empress and Sophie anyway). For Dimitri presenting "Anastasia" was his only justification for turning up. (Also, regarding the above point, the movie made it pretty obvious that Vlad and Sophie had something romantic/sexual going on).
The movie begins in 1916, and you soon skip ahead ten years to 1926. St. Petersburg was renamed Leningrad in 1924.
Actually St. Petersburg was renamed Petrograd in 1914 and Petrograd was renamed Leningrad in 1924. It wasn't even accurate in 1916. Other than that, spot on.
The movie was made for kids who wouldn't know that bit of history and would be confused if the names were suddenly changed.
Why doesn't the Grand Duchess just get a morganatic marriage with Dimitri? The Dowager Empress seems to like him well enough, and she seems to really want to keep Anastasia in her life. I don't imagine that there'd be any other problems, considering that the half-breed peasant-spawn won't be corrupting the inheritance pool. And that's assuming that Anastasia isn't herself the Pretender/Head of House (I'm not that familiar with Russian inheritance law), in which case she could do whatever the fudge she wants. I mean, yeah, it makes sense that Bluth wants to go the heartwarming "love over money" route, but the contrived stuff has to make sense at least. It's probably silly trying to apply logic and aristocratic house law to a movie that attributes the Russian Revolution to a demonic curse. I'm still curious as to whether there's a way to resolve it.
Anastasia wouldn't inherit the Russian throne even if by some impossible miracle the Romanovs were restored — the inheritance law was male-only, and a male line of succession from Alexander II existed (and exists to this day) even despite the deaths of Nicholas II and his family. So no, neither she nor the Dowager Empress would be in the position to change the rules. That being said, the movie-verse is already far enough removed from anything resembling real history that anything can happen there.
Anya/Anastasia had also gotten used to 'peasant life'. She chose to leave the title behind because it wasn't her world anymore.
Is this troper the only one who realizes that any chance of Anastasia trying to regain the throne will result in Stalin and the Communists sending her to the firing squad or gulag?
I never really got the justification for why Dimitri couldn't marry Anya and become part of her new wealthy life. As said above it wasn't like Anya was reclaiming the throne and Russia was heading back to the old hierarchy, it was just she now had money and access to elite circles. The only obstacle seemed to be Dimitri's own insecurities about a former kitchen boy not being good not enough to marry royalty, rather than anyone else's judgement of him. The Dowager supported them, he's already friends with nobility like Vlad and Sophie and what's the stop him from taking a few etiquette lessons like Anya did to fit in with the rich nobles better? For that matter, given Anya spent most of her life as a peasant, she's going to be almost as unfamiliar with the new world as Dimitri. Ok, we can headcanon reasons why they couldn't get married openly: Maybe the Dowager's circle would be appalled by him, maybe Dimitri just didn't want that lifestyle or even that Anya realised she didn't fit into her old world anymore, but the movie doesn't actually tell us any of that. Honestly I figured that Dimitri and Anya just ran off at the end to elope/go on their honeymoon, and then headed back to Paris to claim the reward money and Anya's fortune, bought an apartment near her grandmother and settled down there. They didn't have to take on the whole Grand Duchess, balls and tiaras lifestyle but they didn't have to abandon the Dowager and everything completely, there was middle ground.
I can see several possible reasons. On the whole I put it down to Dmitri's self doubt, but;
Dmitri is a traditional royalist, and has very strong opinions on who is suitable to marry a Duchess. He's also elevated Anya to be out of his league.
Anya is still royalty, and so could legitimately marry any of several European princes without breaching rules.
The Russian Revolution was only a decade ago. There may well be hope that it will collapse and there will be a call for restoration of the monarchy. If Anya has a son, then the son would have a good enough claim to be king; assuming no other claimants. A position that would be strengthened if the son had a royal father. Rules of succession tend to be flexible in this sort of situation. In reality there were several people who could claim the Russian throne, but in this version of events, she is the only surviving Romanov.
Dimitri realised that Anastasia was the real thing when she remembered how she had escaped from the palace. Why hadn't he told her this? When he said in the song that only he and Vlad could pull off the scam, I thought he was referring to the fact that they could provide extra details that other fakes couldn't. So, surely, such a piece of information - known only by him, the Dowager Empress, and Anastasia - would be invaluable? Maybe he just forgot to tell her, but when the entire point was to be convincing, that seems like a pretty stupid thing to forget.
He was knocked out right after their escape and fell pretty dramatically, I think we were meant to assume that he also had memory loss, due to the head trauma.
And when she said what had happened it jogged his memory? That does make a lot of sense, but it could have been made clearer (unless I just wasn't paying enough attention).
Also, this troper thinks it wasn't a question of memory, but of belief. At the beginning, Dimitri is only concerned with presentation; he and Vlad have extra info, yes, but that generally entails how to act the part as well as facts (as shown in "Learn to Do It"). He may really not have thought that "How did we escape?" would even come up as a question, and up until Anya remembers, he still doesn't believe that she's the real thing. Once she does, guilt kicks in.
I don't he was ever shows guilt over wanting to scam the Empress so that wouldn't be the reason for him not to tell Anya she was the lost Duchess. He had however fallen in love with a girl that had just become unattainable for him. He may have not wanted to lose her and in the process didn't act in her best interests.
Perhaps its one of those little details that was forgotten? Dimitri and Vlad were essentially teaching Anya everything about Anastasia/her former life, and in all the details and weeks/months that it took to do this, Dimitri forgot to include that part in his teachings.
There's also how Dmitri had a visible Oh Crap! moment when Sophie asked the "how did you escape" question. He forgot to tell Anya about the escape, or he had forgotten to tell her how they escaped.
I don't believe he sustained any memory loss but I do think it slipped his mind as part of "important information about Anastasia." There are two things to consider. He hasn't been working on this for his entire life. It's not like every day in the palace he was taking notes so he could one day scam the dowager empress with a fake Anastasia. Secondly, this is just one moment in his life. It feels really significant and like something he should remember because it feels significant in the context of the movie and we don't see anything else from his life. It's like in a mystery where everything seems more obvious because most of the things we're being presented with are clues and possible suspects.
I always thought he didn't tell her afterwards because it would raise awkward questions. Anya doesn't know that in their minds she's just a girl they're teaching to act like Anastasia. She thinks they think she's the real thing. If Dimitri said to her then it would probably involve admitting that the whole thing was a scam. Another issue - he might not have remembered the escape at all. When he and Vlad were planning on using facts no one else would know, he might have been banking on Vlad's information as a former member of the court and his memory from working in the kitchens. I.e. they could tell their potential Anastasia details about the palace that only someone who had been inside it could remember. Only nobles and the gentry were ever inside the palace - common peasants wouldn't know what it was like in its heyday. Dimitri frequently wandered out of the kitchens and got to see more than a servant would. And also remember he witnessed Rasputin cursing the family. If it was needed, he could describe to Anya what happened (or what he remembers) in the hopes that it would sound like her remembering it for real. There's plenty of other information for him to be banking on. He just might not have remembered the escape until Anya describes it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but...doesn't Sophie say herself that the question of how Anastasia escaped is a rather inappropriate one and that she's sorry for bringing it up? Dimitri may not have realized how many others would try and impersonate the Grand Duchess for money or notoriety...He may not have thought that the Dowager Empress had been through as much as she had, and thus didn't think it necessary to tell such details to Anya.
Dimitri forgetting to tell Anya how they escaped seems pretty unlikely, given that that detail and the music box were clearly his trump cards for conning the Empress. His reaction when Sophie asked is definitely an Oh Crap! moment not him suddenly remembering, especially as there's no indication that he lost any of his memories. Maybe he thought that Sophie would just ask general questions rather than something so personal and specific, and then he'd supply the extra information for Anya's meeting with the Dowager herself? It is an awkward plot hole as you'd think that would be one of the first things he'd tell her.
Was there any particular reason that Bartok had liver spots? He's clearly meant to be cute, in kind of an ugly way, but still cute. Are they supposed to show he's an exceptionally old bat? Well, then, why is he so old?
What liver spots? You're sure what you saw weren't just some random marks in his fur?
Why do those insects keep tormenting Bartok throughout the song "In the Dark of the Night"? I mean, at the beginning of the song they seemed pretty mad at him for some reason, but during the rest of the song they sure seem to have it out for him, always trying to harm him whenever they can get near him. What do they have against him?
Rule of Funny, or if you really want to argue it, they had grown fond of Rasputin in his time being there and thus became jealous of Bartok?
As a follow-up to this: perhaps they knew or sensed that his coming meant they would lose Rasputin—either because he'd be leaving to finish carrying out his curse or because he would die/be allowed to rest thanks to doing so.
Dmitri knows that Anastasia got out of the castle with her grandmother but somewhere along the way got lost, so he knew that there was a chance she was still alive. He then meets an orphan girl who looks a lot like Anastasia, who is the same age as Anastasia would be, who has no memory from before she was eight, the exact age Anastasia was when she disappeared, who has a locket telling her she has family in Paris, just like Anastasia does, and the locket is real gold, which the average child would not have because the vast majority of Russians during the Revolution were dirt poor...and it never occurs to him that Anya might in fact be Anastasia?
In one of the songs, after realising the truth, he sings "Princess, I've found you at last". Since we didn't see him doing any searching for the actual Anastasia, it can be inferred that he used to think about her, hoping to see her alive, maybe even doing a bit of searching... but it's been a long time, so after a while he probably convinced himself that she was dead, and he had to move on. By the time we meet him, he's hardened himself to the point where he won't let his hopes be raised until he cannot deny it; this could even be part of why he chose to try the scam, an attempt to prove to himself that he really, truly believed the real Anastasia was gone. This is speculation, I know, but it makes sense to me.
That speculation always made sense to me as well. It's hinted that young Dimitri cared about Anastasia, especially as he risked his life to help her escape. He must have thought about her afterwards and wondered what happened if Marie survived and she didn't, plus he held onto her music box for years long before the Anastasia-con came along. But a decade of living in post-revolutionary Russia and becoming more and more cynical, hardened and desperate killed those kind of optimistic thoughts. A big part of Dimitri's character is how he went from a selfless little boy to sly con man. If he did wonder if Anya was the real Grand Duchess he probably quashed down that hopeful thinking and dismissed it as his young naive self.
What on Earth were clearly-marked explosives doing on a passenger train?
Dynamite was first invented for use in construction. Presumably whoever had it on the train was bringing it somewhere for industrial purposes. There weren't any people in the baggage car so no reason to be worried.
What would have happened to Rasputin if he had killed Anastasia? If he's stuck in limbo because the Romanov line wasn't ended, wouldn't that mean he'd die for real if the curse was fulfilled? And considering that he sold his soul, wouldn't that technically mean that he spent the whole movie unwittingly hurrying his trip to Hell?
Who said it was unwitting? He seemed pretty unhappy he got stuck in Limbo as a rotting corpse; if killing her would allow him to finally die, he might see that as a relief, condemnation to Hell aside. Also, he'd still get the satisfaction of getting revenge first.
I've just seen this film for the first time the other night, and there was a spot in the beginning where I was really confused...When the Dowager (Did I spell that right?) Empress loses her grip on Anastasia's hand and starts to leave the station without her, why doesn't she just get off the train and go back and get her? I understand it may have taken some fighting to get back through the crowds, but...wouldn't that be worth it if it was her best shot at finding and ultimately protecting her granddaughter?
A man was holding the Empress back. She was trying to get off the train, but someone stopped her.
She couldn't have just pushed him away, though? Told him she had to go back for her granddaughter?
The train was moving, and at an accelerating speed. If not for the man holding her back (which might have been a royal guard whose primary goal was to keep her safe, meaning there's no way he'd let go of her), at her age she would likely have hurt herself badly trying to get off.
Another question - Sophie interviews Anya as a potential Anastasia after the Dowager Empress has stated her intentions not to meet with any more impostors, and in the end, she turns her down even though she answered every question correctly. So...I ask, what was the point of the interview if she didn't plan on going any further with it no matter how well Anya did?
One, Sophie was too nice to turn Anya away without at least getting the chance to hear her out. Two, she may have thought she could change the empress's mind (and she did in fact offer them the chance to try and convince her by coming to the ballet). And three, it's pretty clear in the scene before the interview begins that Vlad is using his relationship with her to insist on Sophie giving the interview. So, she did it as a favor to him, and he wouldn't give her the chance to explain about what the empress had said.
Adding to the above question, why didn't Sophie let Anya speak to Empress after she answered the last question? It's not exactly common knowledge that they escaped thanks to a boy who opened a wall, is it? Sure, everyone and their mom knew the other answers like birthplace, but when Anya answered the last question correctly, shouldn't Sophie have realized that she was the real deal?
Because the Empress had already announced her decision not to meet with any more people claiming to be Anastasia. Sophie may have figured that the servant boy who'd helped them escape had gone and blabbed about how he'd helped them afterwards, and so Anya could've just heard the story as it circulated around.
She DOES get Anya a chance to speak to her: that's why they're going to the ballet. The Dowager is being stubborn and Sophie knows her well enough that if she says 'oh, just meet this one last girl' then she will just say no. She engineers the opportunity at the ballet because she thinks that Anya is the real deal. She takes her shopping during the 'Paris is the Key Sequence' and is clearly spending time with her and giving her a tour of the city. She is polishing off what Vlad and Dimitri have been doing: she makes her LOOK like a princess. If she didn't believe Anya, she could easily have told Vlad she wanted to go and spend time with him alone.
Why didn't Anya and Dimitri just walk in and see the Empress at the ballet, even without permission? No one but Sophie seemed to be around. Rude, yes, but if she ends up seeing the truth (and clearly they're expecting her to) that should pretty much be a free pass out of all repercussions.
Formalities, maybe? If they really want her to listen to them about Anya being her granddaughter, they may be trying to approach her in a mature, professional manner. Plus, I don't think they knew the empress would be at the ballet until Sophie told them.
They were teaching Anastasia to be the very perfection of grace. It would have been lost if they'd just barged in. They would have been thrown out instantly, and might even have been arrested. They were also trying to keep Anastasia convinced, which might have resulted in complications if they'd just barged in.
Of course, this is thrown out the window when Dimitri does what would be considered kidnapping the Empress later on, but that's only because he's sure at this point that Anya is Anastasia, doesn't care about the money, and only wants to see the two of reunited and for her to listen to him at any cost.
Dimitri sure doesn't question at all what that creepy looking dude wielding magic and giving life to a giant horse statue was doing attacking Anastasia and him. After he wakes up from being knocked out in the fight, it's all but forgotten. No "What the hell was that?!" Guess the creators figured they had to move the focus straight to the romance.
It wasn't just some "creepy dude wielding magic" - Dimitri would have recognized Rasputin and his powers. Remember Dimitri was present when he first cursed the Romanov's and it's not like he was going to forget about the evil sorcerer who ripped the whole country apart. Plus Dimitri was around for most of the Anya/Rasputin confrontation and Rasputin ranting about killing her to fulfill the curse, so Dimitri would have understood almost as much as Anya did about the situation. Yeah it would have made sense for the two of them to have a "oh, so Rasputin was still alive and trying to kill you huh?" exchange (and probably did off screen) but in that moment their first priority was each other.
Can someone explain the part where Vlad finds the tickets to Anya and it zooms in on one of them being a ticket to the circus that Dimitri has to throw away. Was there a joke there that went over my head?
The joke was that Vlad and Dimitri don't actually have train tickets or Exit Visas or any real legal way of leaving the country, and that it's another con. Anya thinks they have an extra train ticket, but in reality they're sneaking onto the train, as evidenced when they move to the baggage car after Vlad and Dimitri realize their forged Visas won't pass muster.
Where did Dimitri learn how to drive a car? We never see him driving any sort of vehicle back in Russia and considering his background of a con artist as well as how few of even the relatively wealthy Russians at the time could afford a luxury like that, it is incredibly unlikely that he ever got a chance to see the inside of any car, let alone drive it.
Soviet Russia was a large producer of busses - maybe he used to be a bus driver when not conning? I mean, sometimes you need a day job.