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THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE is a surprise film - a film that is not only informative in that it is based on a true story, but it is also an examination of the corruption of Saddam Hussein's (Philip Quast) control of Iraq, AND it also happens to display one of the finest acting performances by a male actor this year. Dominic Cooper is doubly exceptional playing both the man from whom the story was obtained - Latif Yahia - as well as the 'Black Devil' Uday Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein's despicably rotten, psychopathic, drug addicted, Lothario and brutal murderer oldest son.

There is a term 'fiday' which means body double. According to encyclopedic sources `Uday Saddam Hussein is known to have used a body double named Latif Yahia. Being from a well-off family, Yahia was sent to the best school in Iraq, and it was at one of those that he first crossed paths with Uday. Even then, his resemblance to Uday was something that was apparent as Yahia's classmates would point out. Years later, during the Iran-Iraq war, Yahia was a captain on the front when he was pulled out by Iraqi intelligence and forced to become Uday's fiday or body double via threats to his family. Yahia was then made to undergo training and cosmetic surgery (including dental) in order for him to resemble Uday more. After allegedly surviving 11 assassination attempts targeted at Uday, Yahia successfully fled Iraq in December 1991. Uday had his father picked up and poisoned in retribution. Yahia wrote a book detailing his life and the life he lived as Uday's body double in his book The Devil's Double.'

Baghdad, the playground for the rich and infamous, where anything can be bought - but for a price. This is Uday Saddam Hussein's world and with his depraved lust for debauchery and immorality, he helps himself to whatever turns him on. The film recreates Baghdad and the sordid conditions in the city as Iraq overtook Kuwait for its oil, and act that marked the beginning of the Iraqi war with the United States. Clips of Hussein and Bush are inserted for credibility. When Latif is forced by torture and threats to become Uday's double the tension mounts to an almost incredible level. When Latif can no longer stomach the barbarianism of Uday he flees with Uday's No. 1 mistress Sarrab (Ludivine Sangier) to Malta: Latif's protection of Sarrab is compromised and Latif returns, betrayed, to Baghdad to cause bodily harm to Uday.

The brilliance of this film is focused on the dual roles Dominic Cooper plays - Latif and Uday - two men as opposite from each other as could be imagined. But Cooper is able to pull this duplicity of roles off so well that it at all times seems like there are two actors playing the individual roles. It is a true tour de force of acting and should place Dominic Cooper in the lineup for the Oscars. It is not clear why this film is not better known. It is magnificently written (Latif Yahia and Michael Thomas), filmed (Sam McCurdy) and directed (Lee Tamahori) and in this reviewer's opinion deserves to be considered one of the best films of the year. It is that powerful: it is that deserving. Grady Harp, November 11
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on August 7, 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.

From [...] popculturewhore . com
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on November 17, 2011
We were fortunate to see THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE in Chicago in August. It is an amazing, well acted/made/written film. Every actor is excellent. Dominic Cooper is a wonder. He should receive the best actor Oscar for 2011.

The film is highly realistic and very violent, not for kids or for the faint of heart. This is truly a crafted film, a piece of art encompassing an incredible amount of creativity.

Not only is this the best film of 2011, it is the best film in years. (a quick caveat--Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts I and II are also excellent films.)
0Comment| 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE is a surprise film - a film that is not only informative in that it is based on a true story, but it is also an examination of the corruption of Saddam Hussein's (Philip Quast) control of Iraq, AND it also happens to display one of the finest acting performances by a male actor this year. Dominic Cooper is doubly exceptional playing both the man from whom the story was obtained - Latif Yahia - as well as the 'Black Devil' Uday Saddam Hussein, Saddam Hussein's despicably rotten, psychopathic, drug addicted, Lothario and brutal murderer oldest son.

There is a term 'fiday' which means body double. According to encyclopedic sources `Uday Saddam Hussein is known to have used a body double named Latif Yahia. Being from a well-off family, Yahia was sent to the best school in Iraq, and it was at one of those that he first crossed paths with Uday. Even then, his resemblance to Uday was something that was apparent as Yahia's classmates would point out. Years later, during the Iran-Iraq war, Yahia was a captain on the front when he was pulled out by Iraqi intelligence and forced to become Uday's fiday or body double via threats to his family. Yahia was then made to undergo training and cosmetic surgery (including dental) in order for him to resemble Uday more. After allegedly surviving 11 assassination attempts targeted at Uday, Yahia successfully fled Iraq in December 1991. Uday had his father picked up and poisoned in retribution. Yahia wrote a book detailing his life and the life he lived as Uday's body double in his book The Devil's Double.'

Baghdad, the playground for the rich and infamous, where anything can be bought - but for a price. This is Uday Saddam Hussein's world and with his depraved lust for debauchery and immorality, he helps himself to whatever turns him on. The film recreates Baghdad and the sordid conditions in the city as Iraq overtook Kuwait for its oil, and act that marked the beginning of the Iraqi war with the United States. Clips of Hussein and Bush are inserted for credibility. When Latif is forced by torture and threats to become Uday's double the tension mounts to an almost incredible level. When Latif can no longer stomach the barbarianism of Uday he flees with Uday's No. 1 mistress Sarrab (Ludivine Sangier) to Malta: Latif's protection of Sarrab is compromised and Latif returns, betrayed, to Baghdad to cause bodily harm to Uday.

The brilliance of this film is focused on the dual roles Dominic Cooper plays - Latif and Uday - two men as opposite from each other as could be imagined. But Cooper is able to pull this duplicity of roles off so well that it at all times seems like there are two actors playing the individual roles. It is a true tour de force of acting and should place Dominic Cooper in the lineup for the Oscars. It is not clear why this film is not better known. It is magnificently written (Latif Yahia and Michael Thomas), filmed (Sam McCurdy) and directed (Lee Tamahori) and in this reviewer's opinion deserves to be considered one of the best films of the year. It is that powerful: it is that deserving. Grady Harp, November 11
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on December 4, 2012
This is a very exciting movie based on real lives; Uday, the psycho son of the Iraq dictator, and Latif, a former Army soldier who is forced to be his double. When he initially refuses the role with Uday, Latif is tortured and imprisoned, and then finally agrees to be the double after his family is threatened with death. From there we observe Uday out of control with drugs and booze, and mentally ill and cruel, while Latif tries to exist through the total scenarios with his conscience and a sense of decency. The plot has been covered on the worldwide TV news, and in taking this story to the screen, the acting was excellent, the sets so real and tawdry, and the background scenes and extras outstanding. Cruelty does exist when there isn't a control mechanism in play, like the Constitution and professional/kind-minded leaders. I hope that Latif is still well-hidden with his family.
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on November 3, 2012
WOW!

Forget your political stance, personal feelings or any other feeling about Iraq, Dominic Cooper was FANTASTIC!!!! What an amazing actor, to portray dual roles with such vigor, clarity, passion and pure brilliance is rare in actors today! I found myself torn between which role he was better in because they were bother done incredibly!!!

A very intriguing movie only made more spectacular by his acting, watch this movie to see what marvelous acting is. I don't know why this movie didn't get more steam and press, his star needs to shine!

Brilliant!
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on February 19, 2012
What an amazing revelation this film is!! Brilliant script, excellent editing, photography & sound, great directing and very well acted by all other actors in the movie; HOWEVER, Dominic Cooper is an unforgettable revelation!! And he plays BOTH lead characters with such conviction that I only learned of him having played both Latif AND Uday from the special features of the dvd!!

I put Dominic Cooper's performance up there with the 2 other greatest acting performances ever in my personal opinion: Charlize Theron in "Monster" & Faye Dunaway in "Mommie Dearest". Charlize of course deservedly won all 3 major awards (Golden Globe, SAG & Oscar) for best actress, while Faye was snubbed by the Academy - apparently she was hated for her guts portraying the evil Crawford so well. [According to Wikipedia: "Dunaway garnered some critical acclaim for her astonishing physical metamorphosis and her portrayal of Crawford finishing a narrow second in the voting for the New York Film Critics Circle Awards for Best Actress of the Year.....]"

It is equally mind-boggling that Dominic Cooper is not at the top of any/all lists in 2012's best actor performance category! Who ever wins the lead actor Oscar statuette later this month, should heave a sigh of relief that he was not competing with Dominic Cooper for that trophy!!

As long as "fun, light-hearted comedy" is NOT your requirement in choosing a movie, you will NOT be disappointed with "The Devil's Double". I have just ordered my own personal copy to add to my DVD collection.
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on February 8, 2016
This movie opened my eyes even more as to how horrific it was living in Iraq with Uday Hussein. to actually see the graphic violence was shocking, too graphic for me. Watched the entire movie and it made me realize...many of the violent dictators throughout history probably had doubles. Now I am skeptical when it's reported that one of these dictators has died..was it really him? The move was very well done. the only reason I only gave it 3 stars is I couldn't take the graphic violence (especially knowing most of it was true.)
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on April 14, 2016
I gave this movie 3 stars with Reservations. The acting was superb; the sets, costumes and cinematography were Perfect. If you want to know what Iraq was like before the war, and take a step back in time, this movie Nails it. Also, unlike other reviewers, I don't doubt that Uday did some of the things portrayed in the movie. He is no different than any Spoiled celebrity who was never told "No" and had "Yes Men" around him at all times justifying or supporting even his most heinous and insane acts, except that no one would ever arrest him for the things he did. This is a universal character type natural to Humanity; Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely. So why with reservations?

The main character, Latif, strained the very bounds of credibility. He was handsome, honorable, a skilled and respected Soldier, a humanitarian, stoic, courageous, temperate in nature, Manly, loved his family, tries to save the Women, shoots the bad guys, everyone loved him Best, even Uday's favorite adviser AND Uday's Women. He was James Bond, Rambo, Maximus and Rocky All rolled into one! They even had to make TWO scenes stating that his "manhood" was bigger than Uday's (because one scene wasn't enough to get the point across). I didn't look into whether this movie was based on a book or a screenplay by the actual Latif, or just made from research and 1st hand accounts of the situation, but the whole movie plays like Latif Yahia's book of Look How Freaking Amazing _I_ am....which makes me wonder just how much of this is real, and how much is made-up as a personal ode to Latif's own narcissism.

Otherwise, very well made.

With all due respect, I'm sure this man's situation was terrible. But no one is Perfect.
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on April 13, 2015
Since his very fine portrayal of early English freedom fighter turned Prime Minister James Fox in [damned extraordinary] historic epic THE DUCHESS, I've been a Dominic Cooper loyalist. But, in the immortal utterance of Keanu Reeves: *WHOA!* Because here's an absolute double transformation that few actors ever accomplish...for starters.

Right here in THE DEVIL'S DOUBLE you're going to see the kind of gut punch, authentic surrealisme that Tarantino's films, even the greatest of them, have to undergo such visual and narrative distortion to achieve.

This is a most bizzarro indie film that one suspects was funded and conceived in a most nontraditional chain of events, and you have to wonder how it might have impacted Mr. Cooper's career arc. That said, Cooper's great here, but you get the sense that it was his own talent, however imperfectly supported by the raw material, that makes this accidental horror film work in ways perhaps best described as "despite itself".

Sadaam and his terrible troika of excess --torture and genocide and stolen wealth-- were conceived, installed, and supported by The West in general and the US in particular ...until they weren't, as a nasty, strategic offset to the Saudis. Whenever election time rolls around, just remember, *all that* was architected and supported by, not just the Bush Dynasty of the Presidency, but by Bush senior's what, nearly 40-year control of CIA.

I can't imagine what it would've been like to survive under such a regime as Sadaam's, but the side benefit of this otherwise completely weird, inspired-by-true-events film is... that it probably does show a lot of that insane, terrible era. We watch in a couple cases, exactly what happens to transform otherwise highly educated and sane adults into monsters, corpses and shells of humanity. The intervention in a young bride's wedding reception is a close focus of actual events that show how impossible living a normal life was under Sadaam.

Here in *our* now, the era of JE SUIS CHARLIE, where Western journalists are assassinated by Islamic fundamentalists, and international freedom of the press is threatened by religious extremists, I've personally come to feel that it's important to remember that Western support of torturing, insane despots like Sadaam is the fertilizer that enhances the rise of --or reversion to-- extreme evil of reactionary religious fundamentalism.
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