Cakes Takes on The Devil's Double (Movie Review)
The Devil's Double
The Devil's Double Movie Review
So I watched this movie a few ago and I was taken aback by how much I did not know about the Middle East, Saddam Hussain, their politics, and the ins and outs of the people involved in some of the worst times in history. While the story of the infamous Saddam Hussain has been told and came to a head in the early 2000's, I had never heard of his child's story. I honestly did not even know that he had children. Uday, who within the realm of this movie world, is far more crazed, complex, and interesting human than even his father ever seemed to be.
Latif Yahia is the subject of a complete life change when he is forcibly recruited from the military to play the political body double/decoy of Uday! The pair had known each other from their school days and school kids always told them how much they looked alike, apparently. Uday, as the film goes on, is INCREASINGLY more violent, emotionally and mentally unstable and crazed with his power as son of the president (next in line), and financial privilege. His list of life of crimes, terrorizing and killing people was long. As was his desire for controlling everything and everyone around him. His character is made out to be completely irredeemable in the film and they do a good job of showing that in him. After hearing of Latif's story, I researched the story itself, Latif, Uday, and the claims of him being his double.
So even though it's a good and entertaining story, it turns out that it has been debunked by a few people and contradicted to the point of Latif revealing that only about 20% of the story was actually true. I, for one, for the sake of the story, like to believe that Latif was actually telling the truth about being his body double at some point. What would he REALLY gain by lying about it? As that would probably have him in trouble as well, but who knows? Dominic Cooper plays a dual role in the film as the disturbed Uday and his lookalike, Latif Yahia. He plays both roles so masterfully and each one is so different from the other. Not only just small physical things make them different like Latif's facial surgeries he claimed he had to have in order to look more like Uday, as you're still able to tell the characters apart, but also their expressions, mannerisms, and personalities are so different from one another. The film is so loosely basied on mostly Uday's life and a lot of the events that surrounded his personal and political life, just dramatized for the movie.
Uday's toxicity forced everyone around him to either how to his psychotic whims or be ready to attempt suicide. It is a very sad story when you think about it; a man's life being stolen away from him. You just see how much Uday could control people's lives around him, even if he didn't know them. The film does well to show how they could not leave or get away from him because of his craziness and constant grip on them all. The true life events that happen around the film are very interesting and adds depth and meaning to a lot of the characters and their actions. The end of the movie definitely leaves you wanting more information about those involved and what happened to them.
By leaving the audience with "Latif has been a difficult man to find" and "The rest is history," that leaves way for interest from an entirely different audience to pick it up. Those that have never even heard of Saddam Hussain or Uday Hussain (like me) before or know too much about Iran/Iraq War and the Gulf War. It made me very curious to do some research on everyone. I'm very surprised that this film did not do better when it came out back in 2011 and that I liked it as much as I did. Dominic Cooper put his best foot forward in his dramatic double role, he carries the whole film alone on his back. The better parts of the movie is definitely down to his good acting. The plot is not terrible at all, the violence is justified because of the plot and characters, and it isn't filmed badly. The movie has themes of politics and war but not so much that you cannot understand what is going on. It makes you wonder what else went on during history. The Devil's Double is definitely worth a watch!!!
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Have you ever heard of Uday Hussain and his crimes before?
Actors/Actresses and Production Teams
Lee Tamahori (director)
Corsan (production company)
Paul Breuls (producer)
Lionsgate (distribution company)
Michael John Fedun (producer)
Herrick Entertainment (distribution company)
Emjay Rechsteiner (producer)
Catherine Vandeleene (producer)
Michael Thomas (screenplay writer)
Latif Yahia (based on the book 'The Devil's Double' by)
Chrisitian Henson (music)
Sam McCurdy (cinematography)
Luis Carballar (editor)
Money! Money! Money! Money!
This film cost around a whopping $19 million to make! This was shocking to me, because aside from the locations and the beautiful wardrobe in the movie, made to look extravagant, I couldn't understand where all the money went or that it cost this much to make this movie. It was a beautiful film at some points, but I never would have guessed that it took THAT much to make this film. However and unfortunately, it only grossed back under $5 million. It did not make back hardly any of what it cost to make I couldn't imagine what the paychecks were like at the end of filming the movie and after all the press tours and everything for the release of the movie. In order to break even with a movie, you should at least aim to make double what it cost to make your film, and this film couldn't even do half of what it cost to make it. Not even half of it! That is pretty sad for the actually decent film that they created.