Movie Review: The Devil’s Double

Based on a true story, “The Devil’s Double” tells the story of an Iraqi soldier named Latif Yahia, who was forced into serving Uday Hussein, the first son of Saddam Hussein.

Uday was a devious sociopath who was actually more disturbed than his father if that was possible. Uday had a vicious appetite for women and the women of Iraq lived in fear of him.

He was known for picking up school girls off the side of the road, rape them, kill them and then dispose of the body like throwing away a beer can.

Even women on their wedding night were not safe as if Uday was attracted to the bride she would have to bed him before her husband.

We are talking one of the sickest men ever hence the film’s title.

Emerging talent Dominic Cooper (Captain America: First Avenger) stars as both the very twisted Uday and his double Latif. This is a career moment for the young star. There are very subtle differences in appearance between Uday and his double but Cooper relies on looks, nuances and a slightly different pitch in voice to differ the two men.

Controversial director Lee Tamahori has great fun with this film in delivering flawless scenes between the double Dominic Coopers but also by showing us just how desolute the world of Iraq is.

It is no wonder these people go mad. Drunk on luxury and no place really to indulge except in their gigantic estates. This is hardly an excuse but the theory is interesting.

I liked Tamahori’s staging that, even though we know Latif wrote the book in which the movie is based, he is never safe.

I loved the misguided jealousy, worrying and complete disregard for humanity also shown in this film. It aids to just how sick these people are.

We also have a strong performance from French actress Ludivine Sagnier who I remember last seeing in the underrated 2003 film, Swimming Pool starring Charlotte Rampling and Charles Dance. She was magnificent as a rebellious young woman in that film.

In this film she plays the top girl in Uday’s harem of women. She sleeps with both the double and Uday and she really has great chemistry with Dominic Cooper.

I liked how she could convey just a look and you would know something else is going on in her head but she would never say. I also liked how the film never let the viewer know which side she was on.

This movie is really a showcase to tell us that Dominic Cooper is an actor to watch and it seems Hollywood is opening up to the young actor. He is definitely one to be on the look out for!

3.5 out of 5

So Says the Soothsayer

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