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Entertaining inside view in the former Baghdad. Some discomforting parts, but without political intentions (quote from film maker)
JvH4825 February 2011
I saw "The Devil's Double" at the Berlinale 2011. An unusual large number (over 300) stayed for the full 30 minutes of Q&A after the screening. The producer warned us that we should expect not too much of the political impact of this film. It is better (his words) to regard it as just a gangster movie. We also learned that the stand-in situation that seemed compressed here in a smaller time frame, in fact existed for a full 4 years. We saw that Latif succeeded in keeping his hands reasonably clean, but it cannot have been real for such a time span. We still may wonder how much of this life he was pulled-in, against his will and his nature, but nevertheless being part of it.

According to the film maker, what we saw was in more respects not completely accurate. Some freedom was exercised while portraying the situation in Baghdad at that time. The existence of stand-in's, however, was realistic and publicly known. That went as far as showing them openly, if only to confuse potential attackers. It certainly reduced the risk in public appearances, since one could never know whether you saw the real one, or a double dressed and acting like the real one.

There were also questions about using English as the prime language. The producer had some arguments in favor of the choices made. Firstly, raising a 50M budget for a movie with Arabic speaking actors, was considered a Mission Impossible. Also, English is generally accepted as the standard movie language, spoken by Roman emperors as well as aliens from other planets.

The Q&A also revealed some facts about how Dominic Cooper handled his double role. We now know that he played both roles on the same day, given the entourage and colleague actors present that day. He always played the "lunatic" parts first, and (without much time in between) the "Latif" parts shortly after that. Of course, there was a challenge in keeping track of the places where the counterpart actor stood at particular moments during the scene. Anyway, if he missed a few and looked in a wrong direction at some instances, I did not notice it and I think the same of other people seeing this film for the first time.

At various moments throughout the screening the notion crossed my mind that this movie could be construed as a justification of overturning the Sadam regime, or (in other words) as propaganda in favor of George W for a completed project in Iraq. In retrospect, I don't think such a hidden meaning was intended. The film was not against Sadam as a dictator in particular, but rather against dictators in general. They existed and ruled since the time of the Roman emperors (and probably before that), and still are ruling nowadays in countries all over the world. We see the wrong side effects of unlimited power. We also see how uncooperative people were regarded "that is the thanks we get for uplifting this country" (or variations thereof).

Political issues and hidden meanings set aside, we saw a well constructed story line, believable casting, and an inside view in the palace and its inhabitants at that time. One can argue about the torture, punishment and other violent scenes, that these better could be left out, or otherwise included implicitly by telling about it (without showing actual pictures). On the other hand, leaving these out would change the film too much into a costume drama, thereby reducing the impact it now will have on the average viewer. Anyway, it is easy for us to criticize choices being made by the film makers. In my opinion they did their job very well, all things considered.
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One Of The Best Films Of 2011
PopCultureWhore7 August 2011
There are many ways to describe Uday Hussein, Saddam Hussein's oldest son. None of them are positive.

The Devil's Double is a "take no prisoners" film that's as hard to watch as it is entertaining. It follows Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper), an Iraqi soldier from an upper class family, who is plucked from the war to act as Uday's double. Uday (also played by Cooper), remembers the comparisons the two would get when they jointly attended grade school. He asks Yahia to be his double - for both political and personal reasons. Like his father, Uday is in a constant state of worry over an assassination attempt. Further, he wants to send Yahia on personal trips that he himself doesn't wish to attend. Yahia, kind and warm, refuses, but is forced to with the threat of harm to his family. Yahia is given cosmetic surgery and dentures to complete the look.

Yahia is thrust into Uday's world. This is a world filled with rape, torture, murder, drugs, sex and money. The lifestyle that the Hussein's live is more than Presidential - it is royal. Immediately, Uday claims Yahia as his own property. Uday has grown into a monster, getting whatever he wants and never having to deal with the consequences. Yahia is who he wants. The atrocities he witnesses because of Uday disgust him, but he is stuck in this nightmare. We watch as Uday preys upon young girls walking home from school. We watch as he guts his father's best friend at a party. We watch Yahia struggle with the lifestyle he is forced to live. Uday's fascination with Yahia grows stronger and it enters your mind that Uday may actually be in love with his double. This doesn't necessarily mean in a romantic way, but because his love of himself is so great, that he sees Yahia as apart of himself.

While the rest, as they say, is history, I certainly don't want to spoil the way the rest of the film plays out. This is a movie that you must see for yourself!

The acting in dual roles by Cooper, his first film as lead, is Oscar worthy. He gives both men their own voices, mannerisms and idiosyncrasies, that instantly allow the viewer to tell them apart. Subdued and stoic, Cooper plays Yahia as a guilt ridden man, grappling with the life he has been thrust into. He plays Uday as a manic, hyper madman with a broken smile and a creepy laugh. You literally believe they are two different actors.

Latif is an ordinary man who is thrust into an extraordinary situation. An object of admiration for the President's son, he has no choice but to comply with the excruciating horrors that are put forth before him. Never once, however, do we seem his morals waver.

We know how it ends, but as with life, it's the journey that's important. The Devil's Double is the real life, Middle Eastern Scarface. Powerful, unsettling, thrilling and always entertaining, The Devil's Double, is quite easily one of the best movies of 2011.

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A must-watch for Cooper's performance alone, but expect to be troubled as well as thrilled throughout.
The Upcoming18 August 2011
The posters for director Lee Tamahori's The Devil's Double (18) declare it to be "Scarface of Arabia", referring both to Brian De Palma's 1983 gangster opus Scarface and the film's setting during Saddam Hussein's brutal rule in Iraq. The Devil's Double is based on the true story of Latif Yahia, an Iraqi soldier chosen by the regime to be the body-double of the dictator's infamous son Uday, with both roles played by Dominic Cooper.

The perks of the job are acceptable: enough designer clothing and willing women to make the average Premiership footballer looking like a trappist monk. However, the downsides are considerable too: torture, being shot at – and the fact that the penalty for seeking alternative employment is the death of Latif's entire family.

Dominic Cooper stars in Devil's Double with Ludivine Sagnier.

Dominic Cooper stars in Devil's Double with Ludivine Sagnier.

It is easy to see why The Devil's Double has been compared to a gangster film. All the whirring, terrifying madness of Uday's world is depicted with the brutal verve one finds in Scarface and other films of its ilk. Instigating nightclub orgies while American bombs are exploding and shooting at loyal companions in psychotic rages are all part of Uday's regular routine.

The direction, intermingling footage of Operation Desert Storm with debauchery, captures the craziness of Uday and Latif's world with a lurid style.

Again, like a great underworld film, Cooper's performance as the central villain is masterful, capturing Uday's menacing madness and chewing the scenery in between sucking breasts or shovelling cocaine up his nose. His performance as Latif is equally striking, but in a more nuanced way. We are never in doubt which one Cooper is portraying; his sickened desperate body language showing through even when Latif is Uday.

Yet this film is not Scarface, and Uday is not Tony Montana. Tony Montana, like most anti-heroes found in films depicting criminals, had a form of morality. It may have been a twisted, cocaine-fuelled morality but it was one none the less. Uday has no morality; worse than that, he's evil even by the standards of his father, a man who thought nothing of gassing entire ethnic groups. This gives the film a heart of darkness. Uday is possibly one of the most horrifying characters ever to grace a cinema screen, proving it at regular harrowing intervals with crimes of a scarcely believable depravity.

This leads me to the film's central flaw. Despite Cooper's performance, Latif's story never quite feels as compelling as it should be. The script at times makes a good man's forced descent into hell on Earth seem more like a mob underling's troubled conscience upon witnessing his boss go too far. One scene, which directly juxtaposes his actions in saving others from Uday's horrors, doesn't have anywhere near the emotional resonance it should. One gets a sense that in trying to show us a world in which a moral compass is more likely to be thrust into the genitals of an innocent than providing any sort of guidance, the film has lost some of its humanity along with its protagonists.

Despite these flaws, though, The Devil's Double is still an excellent film. It is a brave attempt to portray a difficult and scarcely believable story. Even its failure to completely emote is understandable given the skill with which it presents its harrowing world. Due to this, and possibly the performance of the year from Dominic Cooper, its flaws are eminently forgivable.

Verdict: ●●●● A must-watch for Cooper's performance alone, but expect to be troubled as well as thrilled throughout.

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Best movie 11/10
Susan7 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I saw The Devil's Double at the Sundance Film festival back in January. I didn't really know anything about the story, but there was such a buzz about it at the festival I thought, why not? that's what festivals are for, watching movies you might not normally see. I wasn't sorry that I did, from the first scene until the last I was gripped, I found myself laughing at times when normally you wouldn't, but that was the great thing about it, it was a roller-coaster ride. A gangster movie set in Baghdad in the 80's, the fact that it's based on a true story doesn't really hit you until you walk out, and you completely believe that the lead Dominic Cooper is two different people. Fantastic. Even more fantastic is the fact that the guy who the movie is about Latif Yahia is still alive! I've seen some people rate this movie with one or two stars, nonsense, 11 out of 10 it's great! But don't believe me, spend a few dollars and make up your own mind, you won't be sorry, I certainly wasn't.
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The Devil's Double, twice the performance and Top Movie10/10
Helen OBraien30 July 2011
After the slew of Iraq movies, all of them from the American soldiers perspective (Green Zone, The Hurt Locker, Three Kings) I found the subject matter of this film to be a refreshing change. What most people know or remember of Gulf war one, is completely overshadowed by Gulf war Two/ Iraqi Freedom. So to be able to go back in time and get a glimpse of Baghdad in it's hey day was a remarkable break from "Victory movies", this is the only movie about Iraq to date as seen from an Iraqi viewpoint. Yes, it's violent (not necessarily moreso than Saw, Texas chainsaw massacre et al) but then since it is a portrayal of events in a real persons life would you want it any other way? Dominic Cooper is just fantastic, he inhabits both characters flawlessly and for the most part you genuinely believe that he is two people.

As for the excess, obscenity, gratuitous violence and material wealth that some other reviewers have complained about, well, that was Bagdad in the '80's, does it have to be dressed up in Military Fatigues screaming "U.S.A" to be a good movie? If you liked Scarface, if you want an action packed ride, if you love depth of colour and sound in your movie. If you want to see great acting from Dominic Cooper, then this is the movie for you.

When you go see it, ask yourself, what would you have done in the same situation as the main character Latif Yahia? Could you have survived, because, unless you hadn't heard it is based on a true story.

Watch and Enjoy, I have watched it twice and want to watch it again because each time I watch it I can't believe it's over, I want more! Stories like this don't come around everyday. Unless of course you want to watch another Hurt Locker, it may have won a lot of Oscars but The Devil's Double deserves more.
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Dominic Cooper's Performance
luckyfay26 July 2011
I saw this movie not realizing that both leads were being played by one amazing actor!!! Dominic Cooper was exactly that: amazing. And deserving of an Oscar nomination when the time comes for handing them out. My film club was fortunate enough to have an interview with DC via Skype and found him to be as charming as he is talented.

Some seem to find fault with this film because it reminds them of Scarface. I don't get that at all. Perhaps they mean that at times it is operatic, over the top, but it is, after all, a biopic about a crazy man, and to me anyway, the parts of the film that deal with the double offset the high drama perfectly. Highly recommended!
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surprisingly good
netizn13 February 2011
Saw this movie today at Berlinale and was pleasantly surprised that as I walked out of it thought to myself that it's been a really long time since I saw a decent movie like this. Before I looked Uday/Latif up on the internet I had doubts about how close the plot was to reality, turned out to be quite interesting showing that, well everything in the movie has (kind of) happened. Makes it disturbing to know on a different level.

The depiction of Uday's psychotic character throughout the movie seems very real and does not spare or cheat the viewers any disturbing torture/abuse scenes. Some people might dislike this, some maybe even enjoy it.

That being said I liked the overall acting, both main and lesser characters did a good job. And on a side note: i found the movie sets and props were quite awesome.

btw: I can still remember the news of Uday's and Qusai's deaths back in 2003, but that meant little to me at that time. At least now i know.
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I made you Latif! I MADE YOU!
Lee Benson30 July 2011
When they were filming Scarface I don't think they thought that the lines "Say hello to my little friends" was going to be absorbed into popular culture. Neither do I believe that Michael Thomas the screen writer of The Devil's Double think that the line above "I made you Latif, I MADE YOU !" would stick in the heads of not only me but my other friends who went to watch the Devil's Double last night. Based on the true story of Latif Yahia, the man forced to become the Fiday or body Double of Uday , Saddam Hussein's oldest and psychotic son. Both parts are played by actor Dominic Cooper ( Mamma Mia!, An Education, History Boys) a huge departure form his "softer" roles, where he usually plays a love interest or gentleman. He is so convincing, that you forget that you are watching one guy playing two roles, well actually three, Uday, Latif, Latif being Uday! It's confusing just saying it, try doing it! The film itself is loud, colorful and so '80's, not that I remember them very well but having seen a few '80's movies recently I marveled at where they got the shiny suits from! It is definitely a guy's movie, (but the girls will be captivated by Dominic in all his guises) and by that I mean fast cars, mustaches, cigars and lots of semi naked girls! There's a bit of a love triangle, Uday, Sarrab,(played by hot French actress Ludivine Sagnier, see The Swimming Pool) Latif. It's fast paced, action packed and does make you think, how could a guy survive that life? What were his options? Oh yeah, a bit of techie stuff, it was filmed on R.E.D the new digital system, see if you can tell the difference in picture quality. I enjoyed it, my bro's enjoyed it. See for yourself.
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The Devil's Double 10/10
sally-obrain18 June 2011
I started loving this film within the first few seconds. This film has many redeeming features and I personally found it very enjoyable. Director Lee Tamahori brings a lot of the key Oscar-winning players of the Slumdog team back for this new film. Latif / Dominic Cooper The human connection element was most fascinating, as we wonder what we would do if placed in a similar situation ??? We are really "with" Latif on his journey, as we see him discover a reason to live and how his life perspective changes, not just how to get free from Uday Saddam. The Devil's Double, does not simply prove the point that humans will do whatever it takes to survive in dire circumstances. In fact, I might argue 9 of 10 people wouldn't do what Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) does in this film. The Devil's Double, A Definite must-see 10/10 stars.
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Just got a chance to see The Devil's Double.
Namer Al-Tikriti7 August 2011
Just got a chance to see The Devil's Double, great movie! As the first of it's kind I think that they did well, being Iraqi myself ( I left in the early 90's) I find it quite accurate, I can tell it wasn't actually filmed in Baghdad but then who really wants to go there!?  For so long I've listened to critics here in the US saying the movie is too flashy or over the top but I lived in Baghdad during that time, believe me we were more O.T.T than that! Iraq in the '80's had everything you could want, night clubs, bars, the best hotels in the world, Sheraton, Le Meridien etc, think of Dubai now, that was Baghdad then.  Anyway, I was an officer in a special unit in the palace. So I saw a lot of stuff, it was an open secret that Uday had a double, just like President Saddam Hussein. It makes me laugh when there's controversy after 20 years about whether Latif Yahia's story is true or not, I wonder who they're asking for an opinion, some guy who left Iraq when he was three and has never been to the middle-east let alone Iraq! Or worse still the men who Uday used to call 'friends',  it's of no importance really, Iraq as we knew it is gone, President Saddam is dead.  Watch and enjoy, historically accurate or not it's one hell of a ride! Oh yeah, if you've ever watched any interview of the real Latif Yahia, that's what Uday sounded like, not as squeaky as they make him out to be in the movie. To capture Uday's brutality they would have had to dial it up a notch or twelve, I had the displeasure of seeing him in action in reality. We had a job to do, pretending we weren't there.   Does it glorify Uday, I don't know, I think that's for each person to decide. Am I proud of Latif Yahia for bringing his story to the world, absolutely. Because for each person that tries to rubbish him there are twenty Iraqis who will defend him, he stood up against the regime and in the end he's the winner.
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Life with a Psychotic Monster aka Uday Hussein
chaz-2816 August 2011
Uday Hussein was a monster. The world knew this before he was killed, but after seeing The Devil's Double, the world has a good reminder just how horrible of a man he was. Uday would patrol the Baghdad streets in his sports car, kidnap school girls, rape them, murder them, and then have his goons dispose of the bodies. Nothing would ever happen to him because he hid behind daddy, Saddam Hussein. It appears he had no conscience; he proudly maintained videos of torture sessions, especially from underperforming Iraqi Olympic athletes. There are particular scenes in this film depicting crude torture techniques which are quite gut wrenching for the audience.

Dominic Cooper plays the dual role of Uday Hussein and the man 'taken' to be his body double, Latif Yahia. Cooper seamlessly disappears into these two separate men. He plays Uday with a high pitched voice, forever animated and crazy-eyed. Latif is laconic, thoughtful, and deeply troubled by the events occurring around him. This movie is based on actual events as written by Latif Yahia himself. Uday and Latif were classmates and later on, Uday remembers their similarities and has Latif plucked from the Iran/Iraq battlefield. This was not a job recommendation either; Latif either would become Uday's double or he and his family would be tortured and executed.

Latif could now enjoy all of Uday's luxuries, except his women. The inevitable involvement with a woman Latif should not have been socializing with is the film's one weak spot. Ludivine Sagnier plays Sarrab, a woman who Uday plucked from a club once and has yet to release from his grasp. Sagnier has starred in high quality work in the past both with Swimming Pool and 8 Women, but Sarrab's character does not fit very well here. The Devil's Double is about the relationship between Uday Hussein and Latif Yahia with the background of the first Persian Gulf War and Latif's desperate attempts to deal with the crumbling situation. There is not very much room from Sagnier and her character more often than not just gets in the way of what should be the central theme. For example, during the Baghdad bombing in the opening days of the 1991 war, instead of showing what Uday was doing or where he was hiding, the audience gets a scene between Latif and Sarrab. This was the wrong choice for both the screenwriter and director to make.

The director, Lee Tamahori, is a veteran action film director with credits including a James Bond film, Die Another Day, and other sporadic attempts with Along Came A Spider and the xXx sequel. This is not an action film though. It is a tough, psychological thriller and Tamahori does an admirable job with it except from the previously mentioned scene. The writer, Michal Thomas, has been around a long time but his work is mostly unknown except for his Ladyhawke screenplay and an episode of the Crash television series. He has adapted Latif Yahia's own novel and has done a forthright job of it.

Thank goodness Latif's novel was adapted for the big screen. One will read in the newspaper occasionally that Iraqi citizens miss Saddam Hussein's regime because at least the country was more stable than it is now and they had electricity and employment. When those thoughts spring up, they should be required to watch The Devil's Double to remind them of the insanity their country has moved away from.
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Cinema Gold! Just look at the poster!
austenkarl9 August 2011
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 on screen! 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! 10/10 **********
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Acting is what we see
pchero27 August 2011
This is the first time I am writing a review about any movie and i guess its coppers acting and lee's direction that made me write one. It was an absolute mature direction and acting. Each and every scene is worth paying for. I have never came across such a brilliant dual role performance in any cinema in the past so many years of entertainment. You don't realise during the play that it's the same person who performed these two roles which you are looking it. It's a thrill through out the movie. Casting would have done very sensitively for sure. Cooper has beaten all the records in performance by any male actors for me so far. I would highly recommend watching this master piece on big screen as it worth a lot more showing price then what you will pay for. 100 out of 10 for me.
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The Untold Story
slayerjmk952 May 2011
Saddam Hussein was not the only one in his family with a body double; his son, Uday Hussein had one as well. This is the story behind that double, and his name is Latif Yahia. This is definitely not a film to miss when it is released. Lee Tamahori is a skilled director who has his flaws when it comes to his films, but overall he has a very good record behind him (Next, Die Another Day, Along Came A Spider). The acting in this film is good (especially Dominic Cooper), the deliverance is spectacular, and the overall tone and feel for the characters and setting is very realistic. With great effects, cinematography, and writing, this film is, hands-down, one of the best Indie films ever created. I'd see this in theaters twice, given the chance to. I'm sure Latif Yahia will be satisfied with this Indie masterpiece

8.5/10 Stars****
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Certainly not a 1 star film
marygracelia2214 February 2011
This film, although admittedly not a masterpiece, is not a 1 star film either.

This film has many redeeming features and I personally found it very enjoyable. In fact it's quite similar to Dorian Gray but loads better and nowhere near as monotonous. How a certain reviewer , who although has his own other personal opinions which I really respect, gave this film just 1 star out of 10 I do not know. One just has to watch the trailer to find out. Trust me, it deserves much more than that mark. Overall this is a great film and for me it lived up to my expectations. Despite some minor flaws I left rather satisfied at the end, certainly something 1 star films are not capable of doing.

It's after all how a film should be, rather enjoyable.
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I will go to see it again in the cinema.
Ana Counsell4 August 2011
I was lucky enough to see this movie the day it opened, great acting by Dominic Cooper! And the supporting cast were strong also, Munem Hammed played by Raad Rawi was powerful but subtle in his portrayal of Latif Yahia's trainer, a "good man in a bad job" as the film puts it. I thought that Philip Quast really looked the part of Saddam, probably the best one I have seen to date, amazingly he looks absolutely nothing like that in reality and has a fantastic career on Stage with a huge following, but then that is the magic of movies isn't it? I loved the whole look of the movie itself and the sound track was full of great '80's hits, plus I have to give Wardrobe a big thumbs up for the shiny suits and OTT dresses, I had forgotten how big and bold everything was then. I think that there will be a lot of talk about this movie, people saying it should have gone further or stuck rigidly to the facts and others saying it has too much, it's a personal thing I suppose. One thing I will say is that I enjoyed it thoroughly, it hit all the right marks for me, if I wanted accurate information on Iraq I'd watch the History channel, this is a movie, even the guy (Latif Yahia) whose life story it's based on has said "hey, it's a movie", but don't let that fool you into thinking you can walk away from it without having to think about the reality of that situation and what you or I would have done in the Double's place. You won't get away that easy! I enjoyed it immensely, I will go to see it again in the cinema with other friends and or family and I know that when it comes out on DVD it's going in my Favourite section! Hope this helps!
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The story, wow! Dominic Cooper wow!
amber-batts14 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I just saw the Devil's Double, I'm so proud! We've had a few films made here in Malta but for me, this is the absolute best! while they were filming here there was a big buzz about the movie and the cast, but seeing it for the first time on screen really gave me goosebumps. A few people I know worked on it as extras so it's fun for me to see if I can spot them but the story, wow! Dominic Cooper wow! The whole film looks great, great action and suspense and also tragedy, I can't believe those things really went on. Altogether a movie Malta should be proud of! Go see The Devil's Double! 10/10 ********** Best of the Best THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE one of the year's best films.
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a must see
dragon_boi25 August 2011
I just saw this movie yesterday at an afternoon showing. There were only 8 people in the cinema but everyone loved it. It is by far the best movie i have seen this year.I am going to see it again this weekend with friends and will definitely by it when it comes out on DVD.I loved it that much and have been telling friends about it. Dominic Cooper was fantastic and deserves to win an Oscar. All the actors were great. I have never seen Ludivine Sagnier in any other film before but she is one to look out for. I loved the look of the film and the costumes and set pieces. The director did a wonderful job and should be praised for bringing his vision of a horrible time to a more mainstream audience. It is a must see and not to be missed. I hope it gets a wider release. 10 out 10
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This movie has it all!!!
RedFlower777 August 2011
Action, adventure, humor, passion, nudity, violence... this movie has it all! I knew this movie is worth watching after I saw the trailer. I do not regret at all that I went to see it. It is so different from the typical movies that you can watch at the movie theaters all over the country. I personally love foreign movies and I think they should be made available for the public in all theaters in this country. But..back to The Devil's Double. Dominick Cooper plays double roles and I think he did an excellent job showing us, the viewers, two different men: one is insane, crazy, and violent and another is passionate, kind (in a way), and honest. This movie keeps you interested from the first second it started to the very end! I recommend it to the public who likes such movies, because for some folks this movie may be a little too much to handle. Well, go and see it yourselves and .. enjoy!!!
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The Devil's Double 10/10
Amanda Mcauliffe11 October 2011
Warning: Spoilers
Three are three very good reasons to go to see The Devil's Double, firstly Dominic Cooper, outstanding in his dual roles as the good guy (Latif Yahia) and the bad guy (Uday Saddam Hussein). Based on the true story of how Latif Yahia was forced to become Uday's body double or bullet-catcher, it's riveting stuff. Secondly, it just looks incredible, it's hard to describe, seemingly it's a low budget movie but it certainly doesn't look like it is. I've seen some articles where the journalist has said it's a "Hollywood" production, so it seems even they have been fooled by the lush looks of it! Thirdly, it has a really strong supporting cast, I'm not familiar with any of them but I couldn't say that I thought anyone didn't give their fullest to the movie. Having watched a few other Iraq films, I would have to say that The Devil's Double has the best Saddam I've seen yet, the actor, Philip Quast really looks and acts the part, it's incredible. I give it my highest recommendations, if you want a movie that's not all fluff and has a great story and strong acting go see it.
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Hollywood style gangster epic set in Iraq
Ben_Horror31 August 2011
After the 1991 Iraqi conflict, stories of the atrocities perpetuated by the country's then 'president' Saddam Hussein were sadly all too commonplace. But Hussein's son, Uday, almost became as famous as his father when stories would leak out about him: his penchant for young girls, his love of torture and his starving hounds who he kept on standby to occasionally tear apart and eat any woman who dared turn down his "charms". Through all this, apparently, he had a double who witnessed the whole thing and it's his story that's detailed here in The Devil's Double.

Loosely based on the book by Latif Yahia – the alleged double – who, let's be honest, looks nothing like Uday Hussein, despite his claims to have had surgery, The Devil's Double tells the story of how hardworking, honest Latif is forced before Uday, the son of Saddam with a simple request: be his double, his 'brother' as Uday prefers to put it. Since Latif is presumed dead, having fought in the Iran/Iraq war, he's told he has nothing to lose but much to gain by accepting. However, Latif still refuses and is basically tortured and beaten into submission. What follows then is the story of Uday Hussein, told the point of view of his double, who witnesses from the sidelines the gradual descent of the always unstable Uday into fully fledged, certified coke head crackpot.

One could imagine the early production meetings and director Lee Tamahori going "I'm going to make a movie set in 80s Iraq but it will be about the rise and fall of an 80s criminal!" He's clearly aware of the doubts about Yahia's veracity and seems quite content to make what is essentially an Arabic gangster thriller. If you want proof of this, the '91 Gulf war only gets a passing reference and it's literally that: a passing reference. Forget about politics. The movie has other things to deal with, the least of which is Uday Hussein's very mixed and colorful sex life: he liked women and men – especially transvestites. There's even a short scene that hints at an incestuous affair with his mother. You can forget politics when you've got this salacious stuff going on.

Malta, standing in for Iraq, is a very convincing location. It feels like Iraq, it has the right atmosphere, desert vistas and architecture. The buildings are suitably luxurious and opulent. In fact, the presentation of Iraq here can't be faulted… until, that is, the moment you see all the distinctly western women populating the palaces and nightclubs.

Look, we know Iraq won't be safe to shoot in for maybe over a decade, but really, they could have made a bit more effort here. For a movie supposedly set in Iraq, all the women look either European or American. Could they not get any Arabic women? One look at Ludivine Sagnier, as capable as she is, and it almost becomes farcical. She's so clearly not from Iraq, you're almost reminded of the olden days when an actress would simply don a dark wig to play lady from – any – foreign country. It's very lazy casting and serves to only sink the verisimilitude they had achieved up to this.

Director Tamahori must really have trusted his actor. The notion of one actor playing both roles could have been a laughable disaster. Different actors could probably have played them and you would have gotten the same effect, but Cooper manages pulls of it off effortlessly. However Dominic Cooper's rendition of Uday Hussein isn't scary; over the top, yes, but scary, no. Instead, he plays it with a slightly comical edge that makes Uday Hussein more camp than anything else. So much so if fact he really wouldn't be out of place in an Austin Powers movie. It's an energetic performance for sure, though not as edgy as you would have liked.

In addition to the lack of Arabic actresses, there is also another problem that tends to undersell the entire enterprise: too much of the action takes place in nightclubs. The location sheet for the shoot must have surely read like this: palace, nightclub, desert, nightclub, swimming pool, night club… etc., because the amount of nightclub scenes in this movie is over the top and not necessarily in a good way. Once again, you realize Lee Tamahori's debt to a certain gangster movie directed by Brian De Palma in 1983.

So how much, if any, of this is real? That's anyone's guess. There's no question Uday Hussein was a very disturbed psychopathic individual who was capable of pretty much anything imaginable, but how much of his story recounted through the eyes of his so-called double can be relied upon? For all we know Latif Yahia could be a Walter Mitty type who made up the entire tale. But whatever the truth, as a movie, The Devil's Double is not perfect by any means. But it's worth watching for the convincingly unhinged performance by Dominic Cooper.
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The Devil's Double.
Kristie Baker12 October 2011
The Devil's Double, is a film about a man forced to become someone else to stop or save his boss from assassination attempts or boring assignments. The boss is son of Dicator Saddam Hussein, Uday Hussein. I really liked the movie, it was fast and flashy with great music and brilliant acting, the lead actor is Dominic Cooper, he plays both Uday Hussein and his body double Latif Yahia, his portrayal of Uday in particualr is just amazing! He can go from zero to maniac in two seconds! It's well worth watching, I saw it at the Rio Film Festival, I really want to bring my friends to see it with me, it's the kind of movie you can watch over and over again. I give it 10/10 with a bullet! 
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The Devil's Double 10/10**********
Kathline Ross21 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I have never had such a roller coaster ride while watching a movie before, The Devil's Double had me sitting at the edge of my seat or hiding behind my hands. I wasn't aware of the story before I saw the trailer, but since I went to see it I have "googled" the guy who's story it is based on Latif Yahia. Wow, I don't know how true to his story they kept it, but no matter, what a lot to go through! Wow, I mean, torture all the other stuff that he had to see, hear and watch. Don't let it put you off going, yes, it can be strong but the acting and everything else are just class! Definitely the movie of the year so far, can't believe that the guy who played Latif and Uday (British actor Dominic Cooper) is also in Captain America. He's fantastic, I really thought it was two guys or twins or something, there's a bit of love interest for the girlies, plus the actress is hot! Go see it, it's definitely worth it.
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As good as it gets!!!!
clsrocks25 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Allah doesn't give me anything. Whatever I want I take it for myself!". That is the kind of protagonist we are dealing with in the movie The Devil's Double. The story revolves around an eccentric, arrogant Iraqi prince Uday(the son of Sadam Hussein.. played by Dominic Cooper) with the power to control anything and everything...and his body double Latif (again Dominic Cooper...brilliant actor that he is) who is trying to find his way out of this hell the prince has created.

The set up is Baghdad during the Gulf War. Director Lee Tamahori reclaims his lost glory after his disaster bond flick 'Die another Day'.

On the whole the movie has everything you could want from a movie Guns ,Babes, Sports cars ...and even Sadam and Bush thrown in the mix. But more importantly it has a great storyline that keeps you glued in to your seats.

Go check it out you won't be disappointed!!!!
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