Original Review by Alan Rogers (First uploaded at maintitles.net)
The Devil’s Double follows an Iraqi army officer (Latif Yahia, played by Dominic Cooper) who is ordered to become the “fiday” or body double to Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday. The film centres on Latif’s struggle to take on the persona of “The Black Prince” Uday Hussein, a sadistic and psychotic party-boy with a penchant for sex and brutality. Director Lee Tamahori has kept away from the politics of late 80′s Baghdad in the run-up to the Gulf War, focusing instead on the sex and violence and coming up with a gangster movie. And this emphasis is reflected in Christian Henson’s score which – agreed between composer and director – would not focus too much on music bedded in a particular geographic location. Henson does add some subtle hints at the Middle Eastern locale with some ethnic-styled music but for the most part the music is a mish-mash of electronics, suspenseful strings and strong rhythms.
First things first: this release from Lakeshore Records is about 45 minutes too long. Running in at over 75 minutes in length, the music doesn’t really merit such a long release: a more modest 30 minutes of the choice music that highlights the key ideas of the score would have been fine and would have left a better impression. As it is, I was glad to get to the end. The score starts off promisingly with the introduction of a delicate piano line in “The Veteran”, reflecting Latif before his transformation. As the cue progresses, layer is added upon layer: suspenseful strings swell and electronic washes appear before a guitar motif is added and then followed by Middle Eastern influences. It’s a 5-minute track that shows a level of care in building up a musical world. But what then follows is a whole series of cues where various ideas and motifs are added and removed within the space of the same cue. Read the rest of this entry »