Slipping under the mainstream radar is the recent release of “The Devil’s Double,” a pyrotechnical composition that is vividly gilded and artfully styled.
Rudimentary at its core, the film delineats the story of Latif Yahia, the kidnapped body double for Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, Uday. Given the subject matter and the fact that Uday can hardly be fathomed as a protagonist amidst the context of his father’s tyranny and the Gulf war, “The Devil’s Double” does not bring anything groundbreaking to what could have been an award-winning performance. Nonetheless, Dominic Cooper gives a handsomely persuasive and chilly delivery, toggling between Latif and Uday, an angel and a devil, exhibiting profound distinction between a noble man full of humility and the sadistic degenerate who loves to party, rape, kill, and dress up.
What is most worthy of comment is Anna B. Sheppard’s craft and skill. The wardrobe, accessories, and general undercurrent of “The Devil’s Double” are a splendid exhibition of eighties poise, style, and Arabian vogue. Striking, is the film’s visual experience, for we have been, too often, accustomed to the deplorable fabrics and silhouettes of such an era. The film, however, transports one romantically, amidst the cocaine, violence and perversion, to a distinct sartorial appreciation for an era that we mustn’t always consign to oblivion.
As big cigars, Rolexes, Ferraris, and oversized shiny pistols are flaunted, Cooper embodies regal opulence like no other. His wardrobe, reminiscent of Brioni and Versace, is all handmade by Anna, even his shoes, most distinctly a red pair, characteristic of the Prada loafers the pope himself dons.
With a personal distaste for the pompous pinstripe, Anna B. Sheppard brings forth an appeal to the impudent pattern along with a gilded tie that harks to Versace.
Who knew that Arab tyranny and hypocrisy could look so sexy?
Uday’s grooming regimen employed growing a mustache alongside a prominent 5 o’clock shadow. The mustache, a retro Arab symbol of machismo has never looked so good.
Note the oversized golden watch, cufflinks and block colored shirt.
This is what everyone who wears speedos thinks they look like.
The eighties haven never seemed more alluring with the employment of intricate patterns in rich and dark colors.
Uday ended up as President of the National Olympic Iraqi Committee, his uniform commands such undeserved jurisdiction.
Part Bollywood kitch but mostly fantastic shirting. Note the asymmetric navy piping.
The perfect ensemble for an Arabian assassination attempt.