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Character (1997)

Karakter (original title)
Jacob Katadreuffe lives mute with his mother, has no contact with his father who only works against him and wants to become a lawyer, at all costs.

Director:

Writers:

(short story "Dreverhaven en Katadreuffe" and novel "Karakter") (as F. Bordewijk), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Betty Schuurman ...
Tamar van den Dop ...
Lorna Te George
Victor Löw ...
De Gankelaar
Hans Kesting ...
Lou Landré ...
Rentenstein
Bernard Droog ...
Stroomkoning
Frans Vorstman ...
Inspecteur de Bree
Fred Goessens ...
Jasper Gottlieb ...
Jacob 6 jaar
Marius Gottlieb ...
Jacob 6 jaar
Pavlik Jansen op de Haar ...
Jacob 12 jaar
Marisa Van Eyle ...
Jiffrouw Sibculo
Wim Van Der Grijn ...
2e Inspecteur
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Storyline

In the 20's, in Netherlands, Jacob Willem Katadreuffe has just concluded the law school and has an argument with the High Court Enforcement Officer Dreverhaven at his office. Katadreuffe leaves the place covered in blood. On the next morning, he is arrested by the police for the murder of Dreverhaven. He claims that he is innocent and discloses the story of his life to the Chief of Police. His mother Joba was the maid at Dreverhaven. One night, she is raped by him and a couple of weeks later she learns that she is pregnant. Dreverhaven proposes to marry her but Joba quits her job and leaves his house. Along the years, Katadreuffe is bullied at school and called bastard by his mates and his mother never talks to him. One day, he is involved by other kids in a theft of bread and arrested by the police. When he calls his biological father to help him, Dreverhaven tells the police that he does not know who Katadreuffe is. The boy is intelligent and learns English reading a superseded and ... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

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Language:

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Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Character  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$37,268 (USA) (27 March 1998)

Gross:

$713,413 (USA) (5 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Although the story takes place in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, many scenes were filmed in other cities across The Netherlands and Europe. This was because Rotterdam has very little buildings left following heavy bombing during the Second World War. Filming locations included: Hamburg (Germany), Wroclaw (Poland), Antwerp and Gent (Belgium) and The Hague (The Netherlands). See more »

Goofs

In one of the street scenes, you can see an extra in modern outfit and with no headwear on. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Jacob Katadreuffe: I came to tell you. Today I have been sworn in as a lawyer. You must be sorry but I am sworn in and this is the last time I'll come here. Farewell for ever. You no longer exist for me.
Dreverhaven: Congratulations.
Jacob Katadreuffe: You congratulate me? I can't take your hand. The hand of someone who always opposed me.
Dreverhaven: Or helped.
[pause]
Dreverhaven: Or helped.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Stunning
5 January 1999 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Karakter is quite stunning on several levels. The cinematography is gorgeous - without the use of any noticeable special effects or surrealistic dream sequences. The quality of the filming surpasses that of most movies.

One of the best things for me (as an American) about watching foreign films is not knowing who most of the actors are, and this makes it easier to completely accept them as the characters they play. The two leads were outstanding, and the supporting characters (particularly Betty Schuurman as Joba, and Nans Kesting as Jan Maan) were very effective.

I found the story to be engrossing and - more than anything, the pacing amazed me. A person accustomed to reading classic novels would probably appreciate the way this film unfolded. There is a desire to reach the end, but no hurry.

For sure, this film wouldn't interest everyone, but I rank it among my favorite films. It deserved to win the Academy Award for Best Picture last year: for the story, for the performances, for the direction ... it's rare that one finds a movie so well-put together.


35 of 44 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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