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Film / The Devil's Double

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The Devil's Double is a 2011 film about Uday Hussein, the psychopathic son of Saddam Hussein, and Latif Yahia, his reluctant Body Double. Based loosely on Latif's autobiography.

This film provides examples of:

  • Artistic License – History: A few examples, naturally.
    • The entire premise of Latif Yahia being conscripted as Uday's body double has been called into question by several journalists. Latif adamantly defends his story, but he noticeably changes a few details almost every time he tells it. Hmm...
    • Latif did not participate in the assassination attempt on Uday.
    • See Hope Spot. While Uday did indeed suffer serious genital wounds from the assassination attempt, the doctors managed to repair the damage. Uday then went on a sexual rampage, raping any young girl he could get his hands on just to prove to himself and his increasingly disapproving father that he was still virile.
    • There are two conflicting stories on the weapon Uday used to kill Kamel Hana Gegeo: one has him slicing Gegeo up with an electric carving knife (not a scimitar, as the film shows) before shooting him, and the other describes him using a special stick with a retractable blade.
    • In retaliation for the above murder, Saddam did more than just beat the tar out of Uday: he also had Uday imprisoned and tortured for six weeks by guards from different regiments (so that Uday couldn't get revenge against them later), considered having him executed (Uday's mom talked him out of it), and eventually exiled him to Switzerland until the Swiss got tired of Uday and kicked him out—by then Saddam's temper had cooled, and Uday was allowed to return to Iraq.
  • Ax-Crazy: Uday. Royal Brat meets serial killer and rapist extraordinaire.
  • Bad Boss: Uday is not particularly pleasant to his guards. This eventually leads to a couple of them assisting in the assassination attempt on him and, in one case, letting one of the assassins escape.
  • Berserk Button: Do not refer to Uday as a faggot. Good Lord. Just don't.
  • Body Double: Latif of course, and various clones of Saddam Hussein.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Uday replaces almost every other word, no matter his mood.
  • Country Matters: Uday's a fan of saying it a lot and obtaining it by any means necessary.
  • Crossdresser: Who Uday has a crush on.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Uday. He's mostly shown pursuing sex with women (including underage girls), but he also shows attraction to a crossdresser, and there are heavy Screw Yourself implications in his fascination with his body double Latif.
  • Ephebophile: Uday picks up/abducts girls outside schools. Later his goons dump their dead bodies in the desert. One of the fathers even visits the palace to confront him with it (actually Latif). Uday just barges in to taunt the man in his face.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Uday hates an aide of his father who provides him with concubines, saying he doesn't like seeing his mother an emotional wreck because of Saddam's escapades with them. He later guts this aide when he has a psychological breakdown of his own. Though the movie also implies that Uday and Sajida may be a little too close.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When Uday brings a kidnapped underage girl to a party, other members of the Ba'ath Party mock him for it.
  • Everybody Has Standards: With a small number of exceptions, a lot of people around Uday are clearly annoyed and/or disgusted by his behavior. To elaborate, his father shows contempt for him, his brother is embarrassed by his outbursts, his mistreated guards eventually look the other way when an attempt on his life is made, and his body double hates him.
  • Fanservice: Constant! Two Dominic Coopers. Naked Dominic Cooper.
    • Dominic Cooper making everyone undress at the club
    • Ludivine Sagnier being Ludivine Sagnier
  • Faux Affably Evil: Uday seems almost cartoonishly friendly when he's in a good mood...or even when he's threatening to drop that facade.
  • Femme Fatale: Sarrab.
  • Firing in the Air a Lot: Uday.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Uday Hussein was killed by American military forces in 2003. Knowing this, it's obvious going in that Latif's assassination attempt is going to fail.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Saddam Hussein, the dictator of Iraq, is treated this way. His Ax-Crazy son Uday is the real villain, but Saddam is making Uday's activities possible. In his few appearances he's always The Dreaded, including to Uday.
  • Groin Attack: As punishment for killing one of his father's associates in a rage, the hospitalized Uday is almost castrated with a machete by his father Saddam. He relents when the doctors point out that his son would die from the blood loss.
  • Historical Villain Downgrade: The film does a good job depicting Uday's depravity, but it still doesn't even come close to how horrible the real Uday was.
  • Hookers and Blow: Basically Uday's entire life. Oh, and rape and murder when he's particularely bored.
  • Hope Spot: You know that Uday is going to survive Latif's assassination attempt in the film's ending, and the woman Uday invites into his car even tries to throw off Latif's aim it's subverted when although Uday survives the attempt, Latif successfully fires two bullets into his groin leaving Uday in visible, horrible agony, and according to the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue credits, crippling him for the remainder of his life and probably leaving him unable to pursue any sexual adventures, consensual or otherwisenote .
  • I Have No Son!: More or less—Saddam tells Uday he wishes he had never been born. Or rather, that he should have been gelded at birth. Karma belatedly fulfills his wish in the ending.
  • Interrupted Suicide. Twice. First Uday takes a lot of sleeping pills then later on, Latif slashes his wrists.
  • Kick The Son Of A Bitch: After Uday kills one of his most trusted cronies, Saddam marches into the hospital room Uday is held in (Uday attempted to commit suicide by taking too many sleeping pills), rips the tube out of his mouth, hits him several times to wake him up, squeezes his crotch rather viciously, and is only stopped from castrating him with a knife by the doctor's frantic declaration that such an act might kill Uday.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: While Latif's assassination attempt fails, he does land two shots in Uday's crotch, effectively emasculating him. With all he's done up to that point, it is a welcome sight.
  • More Despicable Minion: Uday is the son and heir to President for Life Saddam Hussein, but he is far more Ax-Crazy and dangerous to be around because of his Hair-Trigger Temper than his comparatively restrained dictator father, whose crimes are much less direct and Out of Focus. There is certainly no evidence presented that Saddam is a Serial Rapist like his son.
  • Narcissist: The reason he likes Latif so much, outright bordering on the sexual.
    Sarrab: Poor Uday. Sometimes I think he wants to fuck himself to death.
  • Post-Rape Taunt: When the father of a 14-year old girl that Uday had kidnapped, raped, and murdered comes to the palace to ask for explanation, Uday's "defense" of his actions is essentially to call her a slut and that he gave her a good time before throwing some money in her father's face. Pretty much the only reason why the man doesn't try to throttle Uday to death there and then is because of the latter's power as Saddam's son.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Uday displays a childlike behavior in his interactions with people and acts towards authority figures like a kid would do.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Uday's power is derived from being Saddam's son, which makes him virtually untouchable for the various murders and rapes he engages in. However, there are limits to what Saddam himself is willing to tolerate, such as Uday killing one of his father's close associates. Saddam personally storms into his hospital room and nearly gelds Uday for the offense, before settling for banishing him from the country for a while.
  • Slasher Smile: Uday has, as Dominic Cooper put it, "extraordinarily strange teeth." Latif wears a false pair when pretending to be Uday.
  • The Sociopath: Uday, obviously. He recklessly abuses everyone around him and treats others as toys. There's also his sexually promiscuous behavior, his way of seeing himself as a "national hero", his ability of going on a killing spree for being insulted and his extreme narcissism showed by his obsession with Latif.
    Uday: Justice. Compassion. Fuck this!
  • Translation Convention: It's set (obviously) in Iraq, but everyone speaks English.