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The Devil’s Double * Lee Tamahori (2011)

Latif Yahia is picked out to be the double for Uday Hussein, one of the sons of Saddam. He does not have a whole lot of choice. Latif gets plastic surgery for the final touch and he gets to live like Uday himself, in extreme luxery. However Latif should actually stand in for Uday in dangerous situations (or situations which Uday does not feel like), this only happens once. For the rest, the two new brothers go around together mostly, which is well done, since both Latif and Uday are played by Dominic Cooper which I had not noticed while watching the film. Uday proves to be an utter bastard. Not only is partying his only concern, going to clubs with his more-or-less steady girl Sarrab, but also with his drag-queen and many other girls. Also he likes to pick up women and girls from the street and dump their bodies in the desert afterwards. He reigns in terror and has a whole staff to clean up his mess. What is somewhat unexpected about the film, is that it is not a completely black-and-white American version of the story of the Husseins. You actually get to see why Iraq found it necessary to invade Kuwait and Saddam is nothing like a despot in the film. He would have even castrated his son had not the doctors warn him that Uday would die from it. The film has a nice tension that mostly comes from the vast gap in power. The one time that Latif and Saddam meet, on leaving Saddam says: “Don’t give me a reason to get angry with you.” It is the constant pressure for especially what Uday will do that keeps an entire country in line. “The Devil’s Double” is an alright film. I wonder why the main actors are Americans, but the places where the film is shot look great and the atmosphere is well done.

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