We open with real war footage of the Iran-Iraq conflict and the casualties that incurred in the bloody conflict.
Baghdad 1987. A decorated solider Latif Yahia (Dominic Cooper) has been pulled from the front lines to travel to the presidential palace for unknown reasons. Latif is shell shocked and haunted by the war, particularly a bloody skirmish where he and a friend had to jump off a cliff into the ocean to avoid some explosions. Latif lived, his friend didn't.
Latif gets to the palace and is escorted to a office. On the way in he sees a beautiful woman Sarrab (Ludivine Sagnier) and can't help but stare, not realizing how dangerous it is to do so. Sarrab looks back and smiles.
While looking at himself in the mirror in the office, a figure approaches behind Latif. It is Uday Hussien (also Dominic Cooper), Saddam's eldest son. Uday offers Latif a cigarette and cuts to the chase. He shows Latif a picture of his father in the newspaper and reveals that it in fact a body double. Saddam has to be careful about potential assassination so he uses a body double to protect himself. Stalin had one, his dad has one, and now Uday wants one. Uday wants Latif to become his body double or "fiday". Uday promises that Latif will have anything he wants. "Everything I own will be yours." a smiling Uday says. Uday tells Latif to think about for ten minutes.
Uday goes into a security office where his head of security, Mumen (Raad Rawi) has been watching the whole thing. Mumen makes it clear; Latif is the best candidate they could find. Uday goes back in, and Latif tells him no. He is a solider and would give his life for Iraq, but when he is done serving he wants to take over his father's business. "You're asking me to extinguish myself." Latif says.
This of course is not the answer Uday wants, and he storms off in a huff. Latif is taken away Uday's guards and thrown in prison for a week.
Uday comes to see the beaten and tortured Latif and makes it clear he will only ask one more time and drives away. Mumen says he has five minutes to say yes; if he does not, government agents will come to his family's house and throw them in jail. With any luck they would die quick. Latif has no choice but to comply.
Latif is operated on by German doctors to make him look more like Uday. There are some things like height that they have to work around, but Latif is soon a close match. Uday watches the camera feed of Latif being worked on. "There's one difference," Sarrab says coyly, "His cock is bigger."
Uday sees the transformed Latif and grins. "Two peas in a pod eh?" he says. The two go to the gym and box, and Uday is astounded they even fight the same. In the shower, Uday tells Latif they need to trim his penis since it is too big. Latif is shocked, but Uday laughs, saying he was only kidding.
Latif is shown Uday's living quarters, which will now be his. He has run of the palace and the amenities. Cars, clothes, jewelery, women etc. However, Mumen warns him to never to sleep with any of Uday's chosen women or that would be very bad for all involved. Mumen and another security officer show Latif videos of Uday torturing people. Latif is shaken to his core. He tells Mumen he can't believe that could happen, since he believed in Saddam's rule when he was younger. Mumen tries to assuage his fears, saying they were enemies of state. Trying to give the man some hope, Mumen notes, "One day this will all be over."
Latif tries to make a call home that night but Mumen stops him, saying he couldn't of made that call even if he wanted to. They would've of know. Besides, his family has been told that he has died a martyr in war. Mumen tells him that when he prays tonight, he should remember from this point on Latif is dead. He is Uday.
Latif as Uday, goes to see Saddam Hussien himself. Saddam looks him over and nods. "God is great. He gave me two sons. Now I have three." Saddam warns Latif not to displease him. Latif leaves the office only to bump into Qusay, Uday's younger brother. With him is another Saddam. This Saddam tells Latif he owes Qusay money and Latif has no idea what he is talking about. Qusay catches on that Latif is the double. Latif realizes he saw the "fiday" of Saddam, and the one standing before him is the real man.
Uday, his entourage, and Latif go out clubbing. Mumen is there too, mad that Uday would be in the same place as his double. Sarrab is already at the club and notices the two. Uday tells her Latif is his "brother" but she must not tell a soul. Latif sits down and watches Sarrab dance seductively. He is entranced by her beauty and smoldering sexuality. After a while though, Latif bores of Uday's boorish behavior and wants to leave. He runs out and impersonates Uday to get the keys to his car. He races off into the night.
Uday notices Latif is gone and asks Sarrab where he is.
Latif goes to his family's home, and notices arm guards watching them. He turns to leave, but is caught by another guard.
Latif is tortured by Uday for his disobedience. They have strapped him to a table and Uday is beating him repeatedly with a large stick. Uday stresses the need for discipline or there would be chaos again. Uday continues to beat him to make sure the message is clear. The message is clear to Latif; try a stunt like that again, and next time they won't be so nice.
Latif has to get ready for a speech he will have to give at a conference for the heads of state. Mumen is outside the door, waiting for him. Latif puts in his fake teeth and puts on shades, staring at himself in the mirror. He hates what he sees. Suddenly he screams, and throws a glass into the mirror, shattering it. He comes outside and starts raging, throwing stuff, and beating up the guards. They pull pistols and almost shoot him but Mumen stops them. Suddenly, Latif calms down. It was partly a ruse to test that he had Uday down pat. "Pretty good right?" Latif asks. Mumen nods.
Latif arrives at the conference where several heads of states are meeting. Outside, their are countless wounded veterans who beg for money. One is particularly angry, spitting at the ground when he sees Uday. Inside, Latif tells Uday to switch with him, and Uday grudgingly complies, doing a bump of coke before giving a speech. Meanwhile, Latif goes to leave, when that same angry veteran pulls out an AK rifle and tries to assassinate him. Latif is pulled back while security gun the assassin down.
Latif and Mumen are back in the palace later, when Uday comes in a rage. He can't believe someone tried to kill him and thinks Kuwait is involved. He goes on a rant about how they have stolen oil money from Iraq and he wishes he could wipe them off the planet. Uday calms down when Sarrab calls and go outside and flirts with some women.
"You know he's insane right?" Latif ponders to a stoic Mumen. "Completely psychotic." Latif tells Mumen he understands why he cannot do anything about Uday. "You're a good man in a bad job."
Uday is driving around the local schools for underage girls with Latif in tow. Uday finds something he likes and tries to convince the girl to get in. The girl gets freaked out and tries to run. Uday gives chase then ultimately has his security stuff her into another car. Meanwhile, another security agent bribe another girl to coming along with him.
Uday is throwing a party, full of people, drinking and dancing. The school girl he poached from the streets is considerably drunk, laughing incoherently. Latif is nearby with the other girl who drinks from a champange bottle. Among the guests is Kammel Hannah (Mem Ferda), Saddam's closest friend and advisor. A drunken Kamel makes some comments about Uday's girl and that sets him off. He grabs Kamel by the wrist hard and mentions his 10,000 watch. He tells the crowd that Kamel got the watch from his father, for all the whores he brought him. Uday is livid that this man brought whores to his father, while his mother cries every night.
Uday wants to kill him and asks Latif what he should do. "Kill your father's best friend?" Latif asks. Uday raises his pistol then decides to make Latif do it, giving him the gun. "No." Latif says to a shocked Uday. "This man is meaningless to me. If I'm going to kill someone, I want to know why I'm doing it." Uday takes the gun back and points it at Kamel but doesn't fire. Uday's security eventually calms him down and he goes off with the school girl.
Uday and the girl go back to his room and drink more and he gives her cocaine. He starts to disrobe her and asks her to beg that he fuck her. She is not lucid and doesn't realize fully what is going on.
Meanwhile, Kamel is outside and drunkenly starts firing a AK rifle, destroying things and spooking guests.
Back in the room, Uday has the girl down to her panties. He keeps asking her to beg for sex, but she won't follow through. He grabs her forcefully. "I order you to beg!" he screams, shocking the poor girl. One of Uday's men comes in and tells him about Kamel. He leaves the tramautized girl on the bed.
Uday tells Kamel to stop, but Kamel says he only listens to his father. Uday grabs a knife and severs his achilles tendons. Kamel falls to the table. Uday then disembowels him, then shoots him in the face. Party guests scramble and Latif uses the ruckus to grab the other school girl and put her in a taxi, most likely saving her from Uday's depravity.
We cut to the next morning in an abandoned part of Iraq. Two of Uday's men get out of their car and open the trunk. It contains the body of the school girl Uday was with. He raped and murdered her. They roll her in carpet and throw her body in a ditch.
It is now 1990 during the Gulf War. The United States is now getting involved in the conflict, siding with Kuwait. Latif is told by Saddam that he needs to go be a morale booster for the troops. Uday makes it clear he will have no part so Latif goes alone. He goes through a military checkpoint with a special playing card as his pass. He boosts the morale of the troops, using the very rant Uday used about Kuwait earlier and turning it into a patriotic speech, which the soldiers cheer.
Uday is watching the speech on the news with his mother in bed (a somewhat creepy scene). He calls his brother Qusay, and Qusay immediately tells Uday he knew it was Latif. Uday asks why and Qusay says, "Because he was sober, and not foaming at the mouth."
Bombs start raining in Baghdad as the war continues. Latif is alone in his room, practicing giving a speech like Uday would when Sarrab interrupts him. They talk a bit about their respective lives being trapped by Uday. Latif and Sarrab finally act on their attraction and have passionate sex as bombs explode around them outside. Mumen watches the entire thing on the security feed and quickly destroys the tape, realizing it wouldn't just be Latif and Sarrab that would be killed for the indiscretion.
Latif heads to another speech, as we see the checkpoint has new soldiers, and a bunch of hidden dead bodies. Latif gives his card, and the solider lets it drop to the ground. Latif sees an assassin laying in wait. "It's a hit!" Latif screams. He pulls out his pistol and shoots the guard as his driver tries to pull back. The rest of the assassins open fire, killing most of Latif's security. Latif himself is wounded in the fracas, almost losing his finger. The doctors don't know if they can fix it. Uday is livid that he might have to lose a finger to keep the charade going.
Latif is visited by Sarrab who seems happy he is still alive. Uday, meanwhile has come to visit Latif. He threatens the doctor when he won't answer him quickly enough. "I know people are dying! I DON'T CARE!" Uday tells the doctor to save Latif's finger or he will kill everyone in the hospital. Latif and Sarrab can hear Uday so Latif tells Sarrab to leave before Uday comes in.
Latif's finger is saved and life goes on. In a slightly humorous scene, Latif watches as Saddam and his body double have a friendly game of tennis. He seems perplexed of the calmness of the relationship Saddam's fiday has with him, versus Latif's relationship with Uday.
Uday, Latif, and Uday's entourage crash the wedding of an Iraqi officer. Uday sees the bride and winces. "I want to fuck that. Do you think I could fuck that?" Uday ponders, and wonders if the girl is a virgin. Latif is aghast that Uday would even try this on the girl's wedding day and tries to dissuade him. It does little good. Uday motions for a guard to bring the bride over to him. Uday introduces himself, and tells the girl Latif is his brother.
We don't see what happens after that. We cut to Uday's suite. The bride is on the bed, bruised, beaten and bloody. Still in her wedding dress, we can only imagine the horrors she had to endure on what was supposed to be the happiest day of her life. She lies there, crying and nearly catatonic. Uday dresses and leaves the room in a haze, drinking from a bottle of liquor.
Uday joins his security and Latif in another room while they watch Latif (as Uday) give a speech about the war. Uday smiles and says he's a war hero. Latif on the television says "Allah be praised." Uday scoffs at the statement. "Allah gives me nothing. Anything I want I TAKE for myself." Latif gives him the best death glare he can. He has so much contempt and anger for Uday.
The bride falls out of bed, and picks herself up to reach the balcony. She jumps off in shock and humiliation due to what Uday had done to her. She hits the ground right in front of her husband and family.
Uday and Latif discover what happened. Uday speaks nonchalantly of it, saying Latif should find out the girl's name and send a small dowry to the family. Latif is disgusted in how Uday could be so calm about raping a girl and causing her suicide. Latif tells him to do it himself. Uday is shocked that he would question him, but Latif says he will no longer have part in his madness. Uday slaps him, but Latif starts beating him in turn. A guards gun is all that stops Latif from going further.
Uday grabs Latif and hugs him close. "I will NEVER let you go Latif. I will never let you go."
Saddam comes to the local hospital. Uday has had a chemical reaction to taking sleeping pills with alcohol. Saddam's guards pull the bed upright and Saddam grabs Uday's genitals so hard he throws up. Saddam asks for a knife so he can castrate his son. The death of Kamel, on top of the countless women his son has abused and/or murdered has become too much for his father. He wants to punish him somehow. Just before he does though, the doctor warns him that the blood loss could kill him. That is the only thing that stops Saddam. "I should of killed you the day you were born." Saddam grimly states, before leaving.
Latif meets up with Sarrab and they once again ponder being trapped in Uday's web. When Latif questions why she would live like this, Sarrab tells him she was chosen by Uday just like him.
Uday is visited by the father of the schoolgirl he raped and murdered. He makes Latif stand in for him and Latif has to take the brunt of the father's rage. After watching for a bit, Uday gets pissed off and rushes in, destroying the ruse. He openly admits to raping/killing the man's daughter and offers 1000 dinari, the price of a "good whore." The father's anger is palpable, his daughter was 14 and a virgin. The father calls Uday a monster, and Uday points a gun at him. Uday then tells Latif to kill the man. Latif refuses. He says the man has done no wrong and does not deserve death. Uday then threatens to kill Latif. Latif says that Uday forgot he was "dead" the second he came here. To force his hand, Latif slits his wrists. The girl's father forgets his rage and bandages Latif's wrists and calls for help.
Strangely, Latif is thrown on his family's doorstep. His family find him and cannot believe he is alive.
Latif recovers at home. One day, one of Uday's men come to tell Latif to come to a party Uday is throwing on Thursday. Latif talks to his father, and his father says he needs to leave the country. He tells his son he doesn't know what he had to do and doesn't want to know but he is proud of him. Latif is wary to leave, knowing his family will pay the price, but his father is firm. "One day we will have justice." Latif's father says.
Uday's party is in full swing at the club. He is drunk and incoherent, and finally commands the people around him to literally party naked, which they reluctantly do. Latif comes in and is accosted by a businessman pal of Uday. Latif calls him a common pimp and goes to find Uday.
Latif confronts Uday. Uday is mad that Latif called his friend a pimp. Latif tells him he is done and goes to leave. Uday says he owns him. Latif starts to walk away, and Uday shoots at him, hitting a club goer in the process. Latif shoots back and kills Uday's friend. Latif is pulled into an elevator with Sarrab. Sarrab begs to go with him and Latif agrees. They go into the garage and hold one of Uday's men hostage, but Latif just takes his gun. When Sarrab tells him he should kill him because he would if he had the chance, Latif responds, "I'm not Uday." They race off just as Uday comes down, and fires in their direction.
They try to leave by driving out of the country but find out Uday shot their gas tank and they had been leaking fuel the entire time. They travel on foot for a bit, before finding some horses to ride off on.
Uday is in his office when his father arrives. The papers claims Uday has fled Iraq and they will be holding a press conference to dispute that. Saddam is rather angry with Latif thinking he bit the hand that fed him, and doesn't seem to blame his son for Latif running off.
Latif and Sarrab check into a hotel when the phone rings. It is Uday offering for Latif to come back. Latif refuses and hangs up. Latif is spooked that Uday found them that quick. He tells her they need to leave, but Sarrab drops a bombshell; she has a secret daughter and she can't leave her in Iraq. If Uday knows, she will be killed. They need to smuggle her out of the country. Latif is mad she didn't tell him before. Latif leaves to smoke a cigarette, and plan his next move.
Latif goes outside and is almost shot by an assassin. He is able to hid until police come, in which the gunman has to leave. He goes to file a police report. Sarrab comes in and Latif tells her that he knows she called Uday. Sarrab tries to deny it, saying she was concerned about her sister, but Latif mentions exactly who she called, which couldn't have been her sister. Sarrab sits there for a moment, then tells Latif (in so many words) he's not better than Uday in how he treats her. He never asked about who she is, what she was feeling, what she wanted. He made love to her but never said he loved her. "One of Uday's whores," Sarrab asks, "Is that all I am to you?"
Latif tells her he has money in the hotel room, and she can do what she wants. Sarrab leaves. "My poor Latif." she says sadly to him. Her fate and that of her (alleged) child is left unknown.
Latif goes back to the room, and the phone rings again. It is Uday, mocking him for believing Sarrab's sob story. Uday is urging him to reconsider. Uday has taken Latif's father hostage and if he doesn't not comply, he will kill him. Uday hands the phone over, and Latif's father tells him what he says next is final. He tells Latif to tell "this evil son of a bitch to go to hell." Uday takes the phone and asks what his answer is. "Go to Hell." Latif says, hanging up the phone. He sits, crying, knowing he just condemned his father to death.
Latif sneaks back into the country and visits the Iraqi officer whose wife Uday raped which led to her suicide. Latif tells the man that Uday killed his father and his mother was forbidden from giving him a proper burial and had to bury him in the garden. The man listens, saying nothing can bring back Latif's father or his wife. The officer wants to know what Latif wants.
Uday is in one of his sports cars, in the middle of the market, trying to convince another school girl to ride home with him. This one is more receptive than the last one. The Iraqi officer is watching this and Latif is also nearby, blending past Uday's security.
The Iraqi officer, posing as a merchant, blocks Uday's car. When Uday makes a fuss, the man pulls out a AK rifle and points it at Uday. "For my wife!" the man screams and gets one shot off, hit Uday in the shoulder. Uday's security then shoot and kill the man. Latif watches all this and is able to get up to Uday's car. He pulls the girl out and aims a gun at Uday's head. Recognition hits Uday.
"Latif?" Uday says disbelieving.
Ironically, the schoolgirl stops Latif from getting a kill shot; she actively tries to protect Uday not realizing what he eventually planned to do with her. Latif's shots go lower instead, hitting Uday in the leg and groin area and one in the upper chest. Latif runs off, as Uday's security surrounds the car. One agent spots Latif and runs him down. Latif looks at him and the agent (who was the same one Latif spared in the parking garage) lets him go, pretending he got away.
The final shot is a close up of Uday's pained face from being shot several times.
Title cards inform us that Latif Yahia was last spotted in Ireland with his wife and two children. Uday Hussien survived the assassination attempt but it left him crippled and he was killed in 2003 by U.S. forces (along with his brother Qusay).
The last title card proclaims, "The Rest is History."
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