After eight years of focusing on the moral ambiguities of the Iraq occupation, Hollywood has finally offered up what might be the strongest possible apologetic for the war: an unflinching portrait of the murderous dynasty it deposed, with a focus on Saddam Hussein’s psychopathic elder son, Uday. The Devil’s Double, which hit theaters July 29, stars Dominic Cooper as both Uday and his fiday, or body double, Latif Yahia.
Latif, who was a classmate of Uday’s, is an army officer until his striking resemblance to the despot’s son marks him for a special assignment. Accepting the role of fiday only in order to spare his family torture and execution, Latif undergoes extensive plastic surgery to perfect the resemblance. Now there is no turning back. He becomes equal parts confidant and plaything for the capricious and temperamental Uday, who initiates him into his inner circle and indulges him with the same luxuries he himself enjoys. They are “two peas in a pod,” Uday says. But the peas are not equal, even if physically indistinguishable. “You belong to him,” Latif is warned. In a very real sense, he does.
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