Echoes of Saddam’s regime-review of Devil’s Double and thoughts on WAR

Hi my Beautiful Readers,

I have a guilty confession to make. Instead of working on my PhD thesis, I have been watching a movie last night and before the year ended, I wanted to share my thoughts with you beautiful readers.Thankfully, my supervisors dont know about my blog, or else I would be given a hard time, I am sure.

Anyway, beginning with the movie, I saw, I will share my thoughts on it from different perspectives. 


The Devil’s Double is a 2011 allegedly biographical film directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Dominic Cooper in the dual role of Uday Hussein and Latif Yahia. It was released on January 22, 2011 at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was released in limited theaters on July 29, 2011 by Lionsgate and Herrick Entertainment. Latif Yahia‘s story behind the events depicted in the film has been questioned and there appears to be no proof that he had been Hussein’s double or even that he had had any connection to Uday Hussein or the highest levels of Saddam Hussein’s regime.

The movie was released long ago but I happened to watch it just last night, so I apologize for the delay in review. I would have written it earlier, only if I had known about it (OOPSIE)

Considering the controversial and erractic nature of the movie, it was obvious that people would have different reactions to it. While most reviews only praised Dominic Cooper, LA TIMES gave the movie a negative review quoting it as “relentlessly violent and lurid”. 


  1. On the Movie
  2. On Dominic Cooper
  3. On Latif Yahia
  4. On Uday Hussein

On the Movie

Latif Yahiya, the real life protagonist of the story emphasizes that “truth really is stranger than fiction”. I absolutely agree with his argument and anyone who has seen the movie will agree too. Despite the negativity and controversy, I would rate 5/5 to this movie, including the directors and actors, specially Dominic Cooper.

LA TIMES REVIEWERS inferred it was lurid and violent but that it what Uday Hussein was! The director cannot show Uday as the guy next door, helping Papa Jones cross the street, can they? When you make a movie based on real life, it is supposed to be the replica of reality and the reality of Uday was brutal, so is the movie. 

When I say I love the movie, I DONT mean I love the psychotic monster that Uday was, I mean I love the way scenes have been directed and acted. I don’t understand that when people review a movie, why they do not see the line between the script and the reality. The movie is not good because it was violent and full of torture. The movie was good because it showed the real face of a famous person in the history of Middle East. 

I am a big fan of romance and comedies and at the most, family movies. I barely ever watch a blood related violent movie because
1. It’s not my cup of tea!
2. I get scared in the night.
3. I adore peace and HATE war and crime.

But I really liked this movie, for many reasons. Although I must admit, I did shut my eyes with my hands on some scenes and widened my eyes, jaw dropped on others. I did not cry but I did feel the horror until late after I ended watching. The reasons for liking was Dominic Cooper’s acting, a glimpse of the life of Arab leaders and to see what they do with so much power, oil and money. Yes, there was suspense for me because I did not know a lot about either Uday or Latif Yahia, so it was all new to me.

Since the movie has three important men involved, I would like to share my thoughts on each one of them individually. 

On Dominic Cooper
The character of Uday has been played by British Actor Dominic Cooper. I had absolutely NO IDEA, this is the guy from MAMA MIA- MY FAV MOVIE, where he played Amanda Seyfried’s boy friend. I just could not recognize him in this absolutely different accent and look. 

Dominic has adapted the character beautifully, both as the psychotic monster and as the good guy Latif. The art of and excellence of his acting is gripping because the same person will be hated to bits and loved at the same time by the audience. Dominic has portrayed the best of twin role I have even seen including all the Hollywood and Bollywood movies. Kudos boy!

On Latif Yahia
The actual person who went through all this horror and lost his family and friends to Uday’s madness is a gentleman called Latif Yahia. Following the movie, I was curious to know more about him and I learned that he lives in Ireland and is an author of few books. I also viewed his interviews on BBC where he is being grilled for NOT hating Saddam Hussein and regarding his allegations with CIA. 

People’s reaction towards Latif is mixed. I personally saw truth in his eyes. I may not be the best judge of character and I may be wrong, but I agreed with everything he said and could empathize with his story completely. Someone who has lived through that horror and has the guts to tell the world about it, must be a brave soul, which Latif Yahia is. 

No one can bring back his dead family or the years of youth taken away from him, but as human being, we can offer him respect and applaud for the bravery he has shown. I can only wish him happiness and peace in his life. 
You can read more about him on his website.

On Uday Hussein

The actual person, the son of Saddam Hussein was Uday Hussein whose body double was Latif Yahia for four years. After seeing his torture and craziness, I can only wonder if he was mentally disturbed by birth or if he got crazy because of the money and power he had. In either case, history speaks for itself. What goes around, comes around and for what he did to Iraqi people, he certainly died a horrible death, which is exactly what he deserved. 

Personally, I have not been a part of any war ever and may be I cannot relate much to the movie in that way. I was born and raised in Saudi Arabia but we were send to India when the Saddam attack took place in the 90s and even in India, I live in Lucknow, which is pretty much peaceful, except for occassional Shia Sunni riots. 

But when I see spoils of war of TV or newspapers, it breaks my heart to bits. How is any damn piece of land or drop of oil worth more than human blood and flesh? These days I read about millions of little children being killed in Syria and the same blood shed over and over again. When will we realize that one bullet does not kill one human, it kills 36 weeks of a mothers labor, the uncountable moments of care spent on that person, the infinite dreams in the eyes and the infinite desires of the heart. I don’t completely believe media on the whole terror and war issue but I don’t care who is doing it and why. I just want it to END. 

Let’s wish and pray that this new year, we join hands in prayer and action to do whatever we can, to spread only love and peace. If we disagree with someone or something, just go someplace,do some bitching, roll some eyes, look sideways and leave it the hell alone! We can’t be all angels but let’s hope we don’t turn into DEVILS!

Love and Peace
Happy 2014


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