The Devil’s Double
In the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq War, Iraqi Army officer Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) is coerced into serving as the body double for Saddam Hussein’s son Uday (also Cooper), giving him a firsthand view of the depredations of an out-of-control homicidal psycho. Michael Thomas’ script fictionalizes the story a bit by, among other things, giving Yahia a lover (Ludivine Sagnier) to escape Iraq with him, and sending him to Malta (where the movie was shot) instead of Austria (where Yahia actually wound up). Thomas and director Lee Tamahori also leave out most of the 11 assassination attempts Yahia survived as Uday’s double, but that might have gotten really monotonous. Heaven knows Uday’s mad crimes—beatings, tortures, rapes, murders—get monotonous enough. Cooper’s dual performance is near-brilliant.