The Devil’s Double tells the story of Saddam Hussein’s son and his identical counterpart Latif Yahia and the despicable things he has seen and been made to do. Based on the controversial book written by the real Latif Yahia which itself was an account of his life with Uday Hussein, a nymphomaniac sadist and his struggle to escape the life which was thrust upon him.
Dominic Cooper is absolutely superb playing Uday and Latif. This is by far the best performance i have seen of 2011 so far and, in a perfect world, will be at least nominated for the Academy Award. Cooper is so convincing in both roles that throughout the movie i had to keep telling myself that this was the same actor. It is a real testament to Cooper who pulls off both the borderline psycho Hussein and the honourable Yahia. His performance in this film will definitely, much like Latif, thrust Cooper into the spotlight and onto the Hollywood hot list. I honestly cannot say enough good things about Cooper’s performance, it is truly brilliant. The rest of the cast is good but are merely background characters when sharing a scene with Cooper.
Who would have expected that the director of xXx 2 & Die Another Day could pull off a movie like this. The cinematography is beautiful, even during times of war Lee Tamahori makes Baghdad seem absolutely gorgeous. The colour tones used in this film are used perfectly, when in the presence of Uday’s mansion or surrounded by his riches the colour pops with an overall gold sheen which enhances the wealth Uday possesses and was a clever move by the director as it makes us see Uday’s belongings through the eyes of Latif who came from an extremely humble background.
Then as the polar opposite when they are out on the streets the colour is muted down and made to look dirty, this works in two ways, the main way it works is to show that the real Baghdad is a dull and dreary place with the people living in poor conditions. The other way the dull pallet works on the streets is that it again strengthens the audience’s belief that Uday is extremely wealthy. Hopefully this will signify a change for the director as i would love to see him do more grittier films like this.
The Devil’s Double is a very well made movie held together by an outstanding performance by Dominic Cooper. It is not a deep film about the political goings on in Iraq or necessarily have an over all meaning at the end. Nevertheless it is a film that everyone should watch as it is based almost entirely on fact and is a truly great film even if it is lacking something which stops it from being a perfect film.