Imagine if the cruelest, most psychotic gangster on earth chose you to be his body double and impersonator to fill in at public appearances and act as target for would-be assassins. Now imagine he also wants to be your best friend, and you know he’ll kill your family if you refuse. What would you do? The Devil’s Double is about Latif Yahia’s answer to that question.
The movie is the true story of Latif Yahia, the man who was Saddam Hussein’s eldest and troubled son Uday Hussein’s body double. The movie reveals the character of a man, whose depravities knew no bounds.
The Devil’s Double stars Dominic Cooper (previously seen in Captain America) in a double role both as Uday and Latif. Cooper simply nails both the characters with his brilliant performance as Uday and as Latif, a former schoolmate of Uday. And to be very honest, if ever there was a film to test an actor’s prowess in a dual role, this would be that film.
Sam McCurdy’s cinematography manages to hit a few high notes. But mostly, it bears resemblance to stuff you may already have come across in films like The Body of Lies or The Kingdom. As a matter of fact we were expecting a little bit more detailing from Sam.
When it comes to the disappointments of the film then we would say, at times the movie does give Uday a slight overbite that lends an incongruously chipmunk-like quality to his appearance. The film also stars Ludivine Sagnier (Sarrab), earlier featured in films like Swimming Pool and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1. Tamahori portrays Sagnier as a very flashy and attention-grabbing character; who has to make love whenever she hits the screen. It’s just at the later stage (or should we say at the last scene) when she finally stops making love to Cooper.
Directed by Lee Tamahori, the film shows the potential technology holds when combined with a unique story and a truly exceptional actor. Tamahori, who first came into the limelight when he directed the Bond movie, Die Another Day, replays his magic with the intelligent use of technology in the film, especially in the scene when Latif is introduced as Uday’s body double.
With the kind of script he was working with he could easily have turned the film into a political/historical thriller, instead he’s chosen to give it a quality akin to that of a slick, shiny gangster flick. Cooper on the other hand, delivers a career-making performance, mastering two men, similar in appearance, chained to each other by circumstance and both riding the whirlwind that was life in Saddam’s Iraq.
In short, this one film is definitely worth your time.
Rating: 3.5/ 5