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The Devil's Double [Blu-ray]

Dominic Cooper , Ludivine Sagnier , Lee Tamahori    Blu-ray
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 26.99
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Product Description

Amazon.ca

After scene-stealing turns in The History Boys and An Education, charismatic Brit Dominic Cooper becomes a leading man--twice. Like Nicolas Cage in Adaptation, he plays two men with similar features and opposing personalities. In 1987, as Iraq is locked in a power struggle with Kuwait, Uday Hussein decides he needs a fiday, or body double, so he selects former classmate Latif Yahia, and doesn't give the army lieutenant a choice. Upright Latif must put his scruples aside to take on the part of an insecure, misogynistic sadist. Though dazzled by the Black Prince's wealth, he finds his behavior horrifying, and discovers he isn't alone. Uday's security officer, Munem (Raad Rawi), his mistress, Sarrab (Swimming Pool's Ludivine Sagnier), and even his father, Saddam (Philip Quast, surprisingly sympathetic), all think he's off his rocker. When Uday's encounters with a couple of women come to a grim end, Latif runs away with Sarrab, who's just as anxious to make a new life for herself. New Zealand director Lee Tamahori, who came to fame with Once Were Warriors, consistently goes for the big, the bold, and the operatic, leading to an entertaining, if lurid Scarface-like spectacle. The more his camera ogles Uday's snazzy suits and sexy conquests, the more he seems equally bedazzled by this real-life Devil. Fortunately, Cooper rises to the occasion with two impressively divergent performances; he keeps you rapt no matter how ridiculous the proceedings get. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Outsmarting Wickedness March 3 2012
By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
I want to take a different approach to assessing this movie from the viewer's perspective. Undoubtedly, it is one of the nastier and more violent movies out there when it comes to dealing with the psychotic and sadistic face of tyranny, but that is not what caught my attention. If the film was just about the sickening excesses of Uday, the demented son of the evil dictator Saddam Hussein, I would dismiss it as gratuitously pointless, but that is not the case. This tale of horror is both a simple and a complex chain of events: on one level, we have the uninterrupted violence and terror in the palace while, on the other, there is a psychological thriller being acted out. Uday is the mad son who basically believes he has control over his father's kingdom to the point of ordering all and sundry to do whatever his evil mind wishes, even to the point of forcing an old school mate to be his double so he can be a figure in control of himself. Now that is bizarre! This young Kurd, Latif, who has been strong-armed into performing this odious role, must find a way to outsmart his cunning master before being absolutely controlled and corrupted by his evil designs. Latif, the victim, gradually gains the upper hand by manipulating Uday into becoming dependent on him for a change. In the film, this shift in control is subtle and perilous. Each time Latif stands up to Uday's bullying, we see a moment of truth being played out in his life where he has to choose whether to be true to the values of his upbringing or cave into insanity. Survival for him invariably comes in being able to keep a couple of steps ahead of the game and finding someone in the system to ally with. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars Drugs, Torture, Body Doubles and Disco! Dec 30 2011
By Tommy Dooley TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Blu-ray
This is a film from director Lee Tamahori ('Mullholland Falls' ' 'Once Were Warriors') and is 'based on true events'. These events surround the son of Saddam Hussein ' Uday Hussein. When you are a bit of a tyrant or even just feckless and lazy, it is nice to have someone stand in for you on the odd occasion. That is where a 'fiday' comes in handy, that is a double to be used to fill in on those boring diplomatic visits and be target practice for would be assassins.

In real life this was a former school 'mate' of Uday's one Latif Yahia). Both Uday and Latif are played brilliantly by Dominic Cooper, who actually steals the show with two bravura performances. Latif is picked up and given a choice of becoming the 'fiday' or ? Well he soon finds out what refusal means and so against his will starts to do the bidding of Uday. The house of Saddam is portrayed as a hedonistic hell hole, where everything, life included, is cheap; especially when you have so much oil revenue. Being in absolute power also leads inevitably to absolute corruption. The actual events are shown and real footage is used in places especially around the invasion of Kuwait and subsequent battles. There is also the recreation of some of the 'parties' and the music is all 'Dead or Alive or Frankie Goes to Hollywood a nice juxtapoint to the on screen antics.

There are scenes of torture and some quite bloody and visceral violence as well as some unpleasant sexual scenes. This however is more a study of a psychotic child who only grew up long enough to learn to drive, fire a gun, have non consensual sex and be able to stick things up his nose rather than a gore fest. Uday is portrayed as a thoroughly unlikable chap with not one iota of a saving grace.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Could have been better March 3 2012
By Sorpse
Format:Blu-ray
the main problem with this movie is its about an annoying person so its kind of an annoying movie. Also the cover suggests that its like scarface and goodfellas but better and thats an insulting overstatement. Sure its violent and uncomfortble at times but nothing it seemed like familiar scenes in a new setting. I found it mildly entertaining for the insight into the different areas of iraq that you dont normally see in western media.
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