THE DEVIL’S DOUBLE—-remember Saddam Hussein? If you can dismiss everything else about America’s C—–rf–k Of The Ages, the adventurism horror show * that is the USAs fiasco in the Middle East, can we not all agree that the late Mr.S. Hussein, dictator, was a World-Class Bad Guy? Thank you–but, wait—recall he had a boykid named Uday–and that rapist psychopath freak made pops look like Andy Griffith. Missed he is not, and this 2011 chiller, directed by Lee Tamahori, from the stories told by Iraqi exile Latif Yahia, shows why.
Yahia had the cosmic bad luck to bear a resemblance to Uday, and was chosen to double for him: a walking alibi to provide cover at functions, use as a prop, perhaps take a bullet from all those who wanted Uday dead and meanwhile take every manner of abuse from Saddam’s sadistic son whenever the mood hit.
It’s a relished double role for Dominic Cooper, an actor’s tear-it-up dream of running an emotional gamut, and he is superb. Apart from praise for Cooper,the $19,100,000 film received mixed reviews and didn’t find an audience (way too nasty) pulling back only $4,800,000. It’s hard to dismiss because of the quality of Cooper’s work, and the awful fascination of absolute power at its most corrupt. Not what you’d call a fun 108 minutes for a first-date movie.
Filmed in Jordan and Malta, with Philip Quast (as the grand old man), Ludivine Sagnier, Raad Rawi, Mimoun Oiassa, Nasser Memarzia, Amrita Acharia (a stunner), and Mehmet Ferda.
* Add needless, deceitful, shameful, rights-gutting, economy-breaking, enemy-creating, endless….