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Non-traditional families, pot selling, gay marriage, and cancer frame Eddy Terstall's enjoyably stunning Simon. The dynamic cast, led by Cees Geel and Marcel Hensema, brings to life an unconventional group of people who add humor to a serious subject. Simon (Geel), the owner of a hash bar in Amsterdam, has a steady girlfriend but sleeps with other women. He also has two children in Thailand. When he accidentally hits Camiel (Hensema) with his jeep, Simon nonchalantly throws him in the backseat and takes him to the hospital. Thus begins the friendship between the gay and reserved Camiel and the free-spirited Simon. Their lives remain intertwined until a trip to Thailand and lots of alcohol lead to an unexpected infidelity between Simon's girlfriend and Camiel. Eight years later they are reunited when Simon almost runs Camiel over again, but much has changed. Simon has terminal cancer; his Thai children have moved to Holland after the death of their mother; the women that were in his life are married to other men and Camiel is about to marry his partner. The film turns to compassion and understanding as the two friends reconnect and Simon contemplates euthanasia. Even with the difficult subject matter, Terstall never allows the film to become a sentimental tearjerker. Instead, he maintains a comic tone especially through Simon's witty remarks and often crass humor.
Film Information Collapse
[SIMON] | 2004 | 104 | Narrative Feature
Foreign Title: (Simon)
About the Director(s)Collapse
Eddy Terstall studied politics and sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He started his creative career in advertising and made his first full-length feature Transit in 1992. Since then, he has written and directed several features including Bastards and Bridesmaids (1996), Babylon (1998), Based on the Novel (1998), and Rent-a-Friend (1999).