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The Devil's Double [Blu-ray]
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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
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Top Customer Reviews
Good acting, but we knew the ending. It is my understanding Uday was really hated more than this movie portrayed.
F-bomb, C-word, full frontal nudity, sex, torture,
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.Read more ›