Wednesday, 11 January 2012

The Devils Double

Uday Hussein

A body double or body decoy is an individual employed to impersonate another to draw attention away from the real person for various reasons. The body double is chosen because of their strong physical resemblance to the person they are mimicking. This resemblance can be strengthened by plastic surgery and training to enable the decoy to speak and behave like the person being imitated.

With the help of screenwriter Michael Thomas, who was responsible for one of my personal favourite’s Scandal (1988) a film that dealt quite brilliantly with the Perfumo/Keeler affair, New Zealand filmmaker Lee Tamahori has provided us with a movie that demonstrates the concept of body doubles better than any film since 1959’s war based movie I Was Monty’s Double.

Latif Yahia

The Devils Double (2011) tells the story of Latif Yahia whose novel this film is based upon. Yahia is an army Lieutenant who is forced to become a body double for the eldest son of the Iraqi president Saddam Hussein. Uday is a playboy gangster who is completely out of control, other than his father no one is prepared to reign in his murderous psychopathic excesses that include kidnapping schoolgirls, rape and murder. This is certainly a chilling vision of the House of Saddam Hussein through the eyes of the man that was forced to loose his own identity and become someone quite different.

Ludivine Sagnier as Sarrab.

A exhilarating watch and an intriguing slice of recent history with a riveting performance from Dominic Cooper who plays both Latif and Uday, two essentially very diverse men. An actor does not get this kind of part very often and Cooper has obviously relished this once in a lifetime opportunity and nailed both characters in such a way that the viewer never looses track of which of the individuals your watching on the screen. I’m not sure if I found this movie fascinating because of it’s engrossing story line or because of Dominic Coopers chillingly effective and convincing portrayal’s. I would recommend this stylish film with the proviso that you take in to consideration its graphic nature. At least it’s quite obvious who the baddies are in this movie!!

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