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Enterprising liberal Jew Simon Cohen is the lawless lord of an Amsterdam neighborhood, running a 'coffee' shop' (legal soft drugs sale). As soon as they bump into each-other, Simon fascinates gay, up to then conventionalist Jewish dentistry student Camiel Vrolijk and draws him into his libertine world, even all the way to Thailand for B-movie making. Hvaing seduced Simon's whorish girl, embarrassed Simon leaves quietly. Ten years later, the dentist, now settled with a gay partner, lawyer Bram, meets the new cancer-terminal but affluent Simon again. Written by
SIMON is a little jewel of a film. In a manner more typically Dutch than most it is an exploration of the interaction of two men, opposites in almost every way except in their potential power of friendship.
Camiel is a gay, tender, polite, dental student while Simon is straight, seemingly critical of gay aspects (though always with tongue in cheek), noisy, outspoken, crafty, boisterous and a bit crude café owner. The two collide in an accident, an act that bonds them inextricably, and the film shows the two polar opposites reconnecting fourteen years later when Simon is dying of cancer and calls upon all his resources and involves Camiel in the difficult process of life's ending. Simon's strength of character (despite his previous outwardly bombastic and crude manner) gives Camiel much to learn - and gives the audience some touching and tender thoughts on which to dwell. The film is a fun, at times naughty, smart, and ultimately life-affirming tale about the importance of friendship and family...and a strong sense of humor...that are the stuff that allow us to survive even the most difficult of moments in life.
The entire cast is excellent but the performances by Cees Geel as Simon and Marcel Hensema as Camiel Vrolijk are worthy of awards. This is an extravagantly fun film, completely open and honest about its sexuality, that results in a memorable emotional experience for the viewer. In Dutch with English subtitles. Grady Harp
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