Movie Review: The Devil’s Double

Written by David Campos (@magicdave1983)

I’m sure you’ve wondered what it would be like if we could live someone else’s life, especially if that other person lives a life of unparalleled wealth and power. Who could resist the temptation? However, it might not be as tempting if that life belongs to Saddam Hussein’s psychopath of a son Uday Hussein. This predicament is played out in the 2011 film The Devil’s Double, directed by Lee Tamahori. The contestant who is forcibly made to play this game is Iraqi soldier Latif Yahia. He is summoned to the Presidential Palace and is told that he is to become Uday’s fiday, or body double, a political decoy if you will. With the threat of torture and death threats upon his family, Latif reluctantly agrees to comply and undergoes the transformation of living Uday’s twisted life in 1980s Baghdad.

English actor Dominic Cooper stars in the role of Latif and Uday, and that is not a typo! Cooper, who recently played Howard Stark in Captain America, takes on both roles and brilliantly commands them as one. It’s like two peas in pod, only that one of those peas is rotten as hell! There really are no other standout performances, but with performances such as Cooper’s, it’s really all you need. The psychotic atmosphere of violence, power, and debauchery makes the film kind of like a Scarface of the Middle East. Just like Brian De Palama’s equally violent classic, The Devil’s Double has those scenes that will no doubt disturb you. Every day events such as going to school and having a wedding are not spared the devil’s wrath.

While the film’s ending could’ve been handled a little better, just knowing that everything you just witnessed is based on a true story will certainly feel gratifying. If you want to know what power is, picture this scenario: You are having your sexy, drug-induced birthday party, and you just yell out while holding a pistol, “It’s my party, and I want everyone to get naked right now!” Frighteningly, everyone complies. That’s power Tony Montana would be proud of.

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