The Devil's Double: Evil Twin

Posted: Updated:

Uday Hussein first came on my radar when the hunt for his father Saddam was in full force.  The article chronicled a few of the man’s most heinous acts, of which there were probably too many to chronicle.  I was horrified. 

Now from Belgium comes “The Devil’s Double”, a movie based on the true life story of a man picked to sub for the infamous madman.  Having body doubles was a way of life for the Husseins.  Why put yourself in jeopardy when some poor schmuck that looked like you could take the fall?

In “The Devil’s Double” army lieutenant Latif Yahia  is summoned to Bagdad to be Uday’s double.  Apparently Uday remembered Latif from their school days.  Latif was probably not the ordinary Iraqi.  He wanted nothing to do with it.  But Uday’s remarks about Latif’s sisters were threat enough to get him to grudgingly accept the deal.  There is never any doubt that he had a choice.  Besides as Uday taunts him, everything Uday has will be his too:  women, fancy jewelry, fine clothes, and cars.

After plastic surgery and tutoring Latif assumes his new role as “The Devil’s Double”.  But he hates every minute of it and doesn’t make it much of a secret.  In his new role he gets a firsthand view of debauchery and sadism run amok.  Once he has had more than he can stomach he plans his escape.

Some of those very heinous acts I had read about were brought to life in the movie.  But for all the rape and murder Uday committed, we really see very little of the actual bloodshed and violence.  I for one was very grateful that this was a Belgium release with European sensibilities.  If this had been an American release we would have lingered on every bit of debauchery and probably in 3-D!  The lack of more intense ‘action’ might be a complaint for American audiences but it is totally unnecessary.  The horror that was the Hussein regime comes across enough to cause nightmares in any thoughtful individual.

“The Devil’s Double” is a fascinating though, gut wrenching view into Hussein’s Bagdad.  Dominic Cooper as both Latif and Uday is a revelation.  Alternately blood thirsty, gentle, manic and fearful, it was easy to believe he was completely two different people.  His performance is nothing less than Oscar worthy.


“The Devil’s Double” impersonates 4 Red Vines for being totally engrossing

 

A preview of this movie was provided to me by the studio but it in no way affects my unbiased review.