The Devil’s Double

Year: 2011
Production Co: Corsan
Director: Lee Tamahori
Writer: Michael Thomas/Latif Yahia
Cast: Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Philip Quast

I didn't realise until after the film was over it was based on true events. We meet an everyday Iraqi called Latif (Cooper) who happens to look just like Uday Hussein (Cooper), Saddam's partyboy/psycho son who wants Latif to be his double.

Latif is beaten and thrown in prison until he agrees so he doesn't have much choice, standing in for Uday while the latter indulges his love of cars, guns, girls, drugs and violence – an overgrown child with no boundaries.

But just as creepy as the killings and abuse of humanity around Latif is that Uday really seems to love him and consider him a brother. He falls for one of Uday's favourite girlfriends and they both know as soon as Uday tires of them they'll both end up in a ditch in the desert with bullets in their heads.

It was a little bit hard to discern some of Latif's motivations and actions for the things he does. In this sort of film his character should be something of a blank slate, our eyes and ears into this appalling and compelling world, but Latif was a little bit too enigmatic.

But it's very well put together by Lee Tamahori, operating in the middle ground between the lo-fi scrappiness of Once Were Warriors and the overblown slickness of Die Another Day.

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