Film Review: ‘The Devil’s Double’ Magnifies the Sorrows of Iraq

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Average: 5 (1 vote)

CHICAGO – There is evil all over the world, as long as there are human beings whose lust for power overcomes any semblance of morality. Iraq seems to be ground zero for those consequences, broken from within and invaded from the outside. It is the surreal tale of Saddam Hussein’s oldest son Uday that’s outlined in “The Devil’s Double.”

HollywoodChicago.com Oscarman rating: 3.5/5.0
Rating: 3.5/5.0

Dominic Cooper gives a raging performance as Uday Hussein, as well as portraying Hussein’s body double, Latif. The two characters are distinct and separate, and Cooper’s understanding of both is the highlight of the film. The story is based on the book by Latif Yahia, and showcases Uday as a sensationalistic pleasure seeker, a poisonous monster with a paranoid distrust of virtually everything, infiltrating every perceived enemy or simply using his false friends.

Latif is an effective Iraqi soldier as the film begins, who had attended the same school as Uday Hussein, eldest son of Saddam. He is summoned to the palace in Baghdad to fulfill a new role, that of body double for the heir apparent son. Latif refuses at first, but threats toward his family and torture finally allows him to capitulate. He goes through cosmetic surgery to get the look exactly right, and becomes part of Uday’s palace brotherhood.

The job of Uday’s double means Latif goes on every dangerous mission the son won’t touch. In the meantime, Uday’s hedonistic lifestyle ranges from sleeping with whoever he wants, to indulging in cocaine and firearms. One of the women under the palace roof, Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), finds a connection with the double, and she figures into the next chapter of the Uday/Latif relationship, that of attempted escape and retribution.

”The Devil’s Double” continues its limited release in Chicago on August 5th. See listings for theaters and show times. Featuring Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi, Phillip Quast and Nasser Memarzia. Screenplay by Michael Thomas and Latif Yahia. Directed by Lee Tamahori. Rated “R”

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Devil’s Double”

Dominic Cooper Portrays Uday Hussein and Latif Yahia in ‘The Devil’s Double’
Dominic Cooper Portrays Uday Hussein and Latif Yahia in ‘The Devil’s Double’
Photo credit: Sofie Van Mieghem for Lionsgate

StarContinue reading for Patrick McDonald’s full review of “The Devil’s Double”

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