Monday, August 15, 2011

The Devil's Double

This film is based on the true story of Latif Yahia, a soldier in the Iraqi army who was almost a perfect double for Uday Hussein (one of Saddam Hussein's sons). Dominick Cooper plays both roles and he is terrific as the madman, Uday and as the conflicted solider, Latif. Mr. Cooper plays Uday like an Iraqi "Scarface", living a life of sex, drugs and violence. If the screenplay is accurate, Uday was a complete psychopath who took and did whatever he wanted. He forces Latif to be his body double by threatening his family and Latif's life is no longer his own.

The facts and fiction play out against a backdrop of the first Gulf War. Malta doubles (no pun intended) for Iraq with wonderful cinematography and the film has a terrific soundtrack. The film co-stars Ludivine Sagnier as Uday's girlfriend, Sarrab, who becomes dangerously attracted to Latif.

Make no mistake, this film earns it's "R" rating. It is very violent and at times the depravity of Uday Saddam is hard to watch but it is necessary to juxtapose the actions of a good man thrown into a hellish existence.

I just can't say enough good things about Mr. Cooper's double triumph. This is by far the best work he's done on screen and while the story may not be for everyone, it's worth it just for his performance.

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