Dominic Cooper (An Education) headlines director Lee Tamahori's fact-based docudrama centering on the nightmarish experiences of an Iraqi army lieutenant whose life became a living hell after he was hand-selected to be a "fiday" (body double) for Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's ruthless son Uday. Baghdad, 1987: Iraqi soldier Latif Yahia (Cooper) becomes privy to the inner workings of the royal family after receiving an offer he can't refuse. Desperate to protect his family and terrified of making any fatal missteps, Latif studies Uday's every personal tick in order to become the spitting image of the so-called "Black Prince." While some Iraqis might have been honored to be presented with such a unique opportunity, Uday's unparalleled sadism and debauched lifestyle quickly began to eat away at the very core of Latif's soul. As war with Kuwait looms on the horizon, Latif finds himself increasingly drawn to Uday's ravishing mistress Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier), a woman with her own terrifying tales to tell about time spent with Iraq's cruelest son. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi
Dominic Cooper showed his acting chops in this movie. While many of us heard of the terrors perpetrated on the Iraqi people by Saddam himself, this drew a rare portrait of the devil's spawn and the terror Uday could instill in even those closest to him. This pampered, violent man-child reminds me of the character played by Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. Fortunately, the real life Uday came to just as sticky an end as Tommy did. This movie was really well made and the director did a great job of showing just enough violence and terror to build tension, but added enough humor to make it all palatable. I definitely recommend seeing this film if for no other reason than to understand what it was like to live in Iraq under Saddam Hussein.
Wow! I was mesmerized by this movie. Hard to believe that someone actually lived through the experience. The movie was like Midnight Express for me. I thought the acting was pretty good too. Very interesting to see the city of Bagdad.