The Devil's Double (18)

Film

Dominic Cooper and Ludivine Sagnier in The Devil's Double

Dominic Cooper and Ludivine Sagnier in The Devil's Double.

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>2</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Aug 9 2011

Imagine an Iraqi take on ‘The Sopranos’, with Saddam Hussein in the Tony role, wringing his hands in despair at the young generation (Why must they torture in public? Isn’t that why we have Abu Ghraib?). This blinged-up, bizarre film is loosely based on an autobiography by Latif Yahia, who for five years was the body-double of Uday Hussein, Saddam’s sadistic first born. Weirdly, it’s in English with non-Iraqis playing the central characters. British actor Dominic Cooper plays both Latif and Uday – acquitting himself pretty well in the circumstances.

Uday’s psychotic streak was too much even for Saddam, who relegated him to number two successor. In 1987 he summoned Latif, an old school friend with an uncanny likeness, and made him an offer: become my body-double or I’ll kill your family. Latif underwent plastic surgery so that not even the Hussein family could tell the two men apart (though, as Uday’s brother notes, you know you’re watching Latif on TV because, ‘He’s sober and he’s not foaming at the mouth.’)

What makes ‘The Devil’s Double’ unsettling is its tone. In places, Uday is played for laughs, introduced as a bucked-tooth, clownish mummy’s boy. But elsewhere, Tamahori doesn’t hold back from showing the worst of Uday’s depravity: we see him cruising schools, searching for barely pubescent girls to abduct. The result is a film which, in attempting to parade as a trashy soap opera supercharged on cocaine, is even more tasteless than its main character’s gold ’n’ marble palace.
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Release details

Rated:

18

UK release:

Fri Aug 12, 2011

Duration:

108 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Lee Tamahori

Cast:

Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:2
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|14
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Film Fan

I enjoyed mostly Dominic Cooper's acting but otherwise found the film to be much too violent!

Film Fan

I enjoyed mostly Dominic Cooper's acting but otherwise found the film to be much too violent!

scrumpyjack

Enjoyed it, but Cooper not QUITE "man" enough..."Scarface" evil wanted, Hackman's Lex Luther achieved. 7/10

scrumpyjack

Enjoyed it, but Cooper not QUITE "man" enough..."Scarface" evil wanted, Hackman's Lex Luther achieved. 7/10

critique

A very strange movie that doesn`t work on any level. By some stretch, the most bizarre film I`ve viewed in a long time.

critique

A very strange movie that doesn`t work on any level. By some stretch, the most bizarre film I`ve viewed in a long time.

Jackie

Fantastic film, Dominic Cooper is incredible. I cannot understand why Time Out is so dismissive of it. Don't miss this film.

Jackie

Fantastic film, Dominic Cooper is incredible. I cannot understand why Time Out is so dismissive of it. Don't miss this film.

rupertbear

Tasteless? A little of an understatement. Having quickly established that Uday is an infantile psychopath, rapist and murderer we are treated to an hour of escalating violence and little else. Can he really be as bad as that? Oh look, he's doing something even worse. As history, who knows, I don't. As a thriller, very poor. As voyeuristic sexual violence, pretty effective if that's your thing.

rupertbear

Tasteless? A little of an understatement. Having quickly established that Uday is an infantile psychopath, rapist and murderer we are treated to an hour of escalating violence and little else. Can he really be as bad as that? Oh look, he's doing something even worse. As history, who knows, I don't. As a thriller, very poor. As voyeuristic sexual violence, pretty effective if that's your thing.

austen

The Devil's Double starring Dominic Cooper in a Bravura performance, playing both leads, he is astounding. Never for a moment do you think he is the same person, prosthetics and camera work aside he draws two very distinctive character's and then a third as he portrays the double imitating the Devil! Incredible! In case you have been holed up somewhere and know nothing of the story behind the movie, here goes. Latif Yahia (Cooper) is an Iraqi army officer taken from the front line during the Iran-Iraq war, he is brought to one of the palaces in Baghdad to meet an old schoolmate Uday Hussein (also Cooper) son of the president Saddam Hussein. In those times of war and uprising Uday needs a 'fidai' or bullet catcher, someone who he can send in when there is a threat to his safety or if he just doesn't feel like doing it himself.  Uday offers Latif the job, but Latif declines politely and I won't spoil the rest. Based on the true story of Latif Yahia and his best selling book of the same name,the Devil's Double sticks pretty much with the book apart from some scenes where Lee Tamahori the director took some poetic license. Don't expect it to be hugely political, it's not. Don't expect it to be historically accurate either, it's kinda there but the producers and director have said that they purposely didn't go down that road because they didn't want historians nit picking. Maybe they should have because from other reviews I have seen they're nit picking anyway! The Devil's Double is a great action packed thriller of a movie with fantastic performances from not one but two actors playing 'Doubles' Philip Quast (Saddam Hussein) also plays Saddam's Double Faoz Al-Emiri ( I think I got that right) and although you don't see too much of him you know instantly who he is when he's onscreen! I liked it, a lot actually and I will be seeing it again and probably again, for all the controversy that has been kicked up I think it's going to be one of those movies that has lasting power and gains more and more credit as time goes on. Remember 'Scarface' wasn't such a big hit when it came out first, it was only over time that it garnered the Iconic status that it has now. Watch it, make up your own mind, the price of the ticket won't break the bank and you won't have to take out a second mortgage! But in Entertainment value it's cinema gold! Just look at the poster!

austen

The Devil's Double starring Dominic Cooper in a Bravura performance, playing both leads, he is astounding. Never for a moment do you think he is the same person, prosthetics and camera work aside he draws two very distinctive character's and then a third as he portrays the double imitating the Devil! Incredible! In case you have been holed up somewhere and know nothing of the story behind the movie, here goes. Latif Yahia (Cooper) is an Iraqi army officer taken from the front line during the Iran-Iraq war, he is brought to one of the palaces in Baghdad to meet an old schoolmate Uday Hussein (also Cooper) son of the president Saddam Hussein. In those times of war and uprising Uday needs a 'fidai' or bullet catcher, someone who he can send in when there is a threat to his safety or if he just doesn't feel like doing it himself.  Uday offers Latif the job, but Latif declines politely and I won't spoil the rest. Based on the true story of Latif Yahia and his best selling book of the same name,the Devil's Double sticks pretty much with the book apart from some scenes where Lee Tamahori the director took some poetic license. Don't expect it to be hugely political, it's not. Don't expect it to be historically accurate either, it's kinda there but the producers and director have said that they purposely didn't go down that road because they didn't want historians nit picking. Maybe they should have because from other reviews I have seen they're nit picking anyway! The Devil's Double is a great action packed thriller of a movie with fantastic performances from not one but two actors playing 'Doubles' Philip Quast (Saddam Hussein) also plays Saddam's Double Faoz Al-Emiri ( I think I got that right) and although you don't see too much of him you know instantly who he is when he's onscreen! I liked it, a lot actually and I will be seeing it again and probably again, for all the controversy that has been kicked up I think it's going to be one of those movies that has lasting power and gains more and more credit as time goes on. Remember 'Scarface' wasn't such a big hit when it came out first, it was only over time that it garnered the Iconic status that it has now. Watch it, make up your own mind, the price of the ticket won't break the bank and you won't have to take out a second mortgage! But in Entertainment value it's cinema gold! Just look at the poster!