MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 16,535 this week

Character (1997)
"Karakter" (original title)

 -  Crime | Drama | Mystery  -  27 March 1998 (USA)
7.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.8/10 from 8,496 users  
Reviews: 65 user | 50 critic

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"), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 05 May 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 17 Aug 2013
 
a list of 33 titles
created 11 months ago
 
a list of 35 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 34 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Character" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Character (1997)

Character (1997) on IMDb 7.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Character.
Won 1 Oscar. Another 15 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Alaska (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A slaughterhouse worker appears to be romantically involved with his boss's wife. They plan to leave the country together, but at the airport she waits for him in vain. Slowly but surely ... See full summary »

Director: Mike van Diem
Stars: Willem Nijholt, Maeve van der Steen, Coen van Vrijberghe de Coningh
Clockers (1995)
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Young drug pushers in the projects of Brooklyn live hard dangerous lives, trapped between their drug bosses and the detectives out to stop them.

Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Harvey Keitel, John Turturro, Delroy Lindo
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Dutch matron establishes and, for several generations, oversees a close-knit, matriarchal community where feminism and liberalism thrive.

Director: Marleen Gorris
Stars: Willeke van Ammelrooy, Jan Decleir, Veerle van Overloop
X-Ray Eyes (Video 2010)
Short | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When medical student Irena discovers that she can see through people, her live takes a surprising turn after she finds out that she is able to see bone structures, organs bloodstreams and ... See full summary »

Director: Mike van Diem
Stars: Eline Van der Velden, Miron Bilski, Adrian Brine
Paranoid Park (2007)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A teenage skateboarder's life begins to fray after he is involved in the accidental death of a security guard.

Director: Gus Van Sant
Stars: Gabe Nevins, Daniel Liu, Taylor Momsen
The Assault (1986)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In January 1945, during the 2nd world-war, the Dutch resistance kills a collaborator in the street where the 12 year old Anton Steenwijk lives. The man was shot in front of his neighbors ... See full summary »

Director: Fons Rademakers
Stars: Derek de Lint, Marc van Uchelen, Monique van de Ven
Brick (2005)
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A teenage loner pushes his way into the underworld of a high school crime ring to investigate the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend.

Director: Rian Johnson
Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas, Emilie de Ravin
Kolya (1996)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ... See full summary »

Director: Jan Sverák
Stars: Zdenek Sverák, Andrey Khalimon, Libuse Safránková
Daens (1992)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

In the 1890s, Father Adolf Daens goes to Aalst, a textile town where child labor is rife, pay and working conditions are horrible, the poor have no vote, and the Catholic church backs the ... See full summary »

Director: Stijn Coninx
Stars: Jan Decleir, Gérard Desarthe, Antje de Boeck
De Surprise (2015)
Comedy | Romance

An eccentric multimillionaire signs an agreement to have his life ended. While selecting his coffin he meets a young woman who has signed up for the same arrangement. Trouble ensues when ... See full summary »

Director: Mike van Diem
Stars: Jeroen van Koningsbrugge, Georgina Verbaan, Jan Decleir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Director: Mike van Diem
Stars: Jules Hamel, Gert-Jan Louwe
Edit

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
Edit

Storyline

J.W. Katadreuffe is the son of Joba Katadreuffe and A.B. Drevenhaven. Though fully neglected by Joba, Dreverhaven ensures the succesfull career of his son. Mostly unseen, though he sues his son a few times. The son Katadreuffe succeeds, but at great costs. Written by Klaas van Gend <Klaas@vangend.demon.nl>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

27 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Character  »

Box Office

Budget:

$4,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$713,413 (USA) (5 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the novel 'Karakter' and the short story 'Dreverhave and Katadreuffe' by dutch writer F. Bordewijk (1884-1965). 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

Joba: Well, Jacob Willem, then you've been a big ass.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Allemaal film: De amerikaanse droom (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Very Subtle Character Study
6 October 2001 | by (Belleville, Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

How is it possible for a boy, whose parents are devoid of normal humanity, to grow up to be loved and respected? The film, Character, presents a credible demonstration. It has the darkness of Ingmar Bergman or Charles Dickens, is slow-moving, thoroughly engrossing and it left me emotionally drained, which always elicits a high rating from me.

Dreverhaven is apparently an evil man: a bailiff who is quite willing to evict people in a terrible storm. He embodies two Nietzschean concepts: 1. the will to power (he entered into power struggles with anyone whom he felt he could dominate) and 2. that a life becomes better by becoming stronger through adversity (he did everything in his power to bring adversity to his son, believing that that would strengthen him--and in many ways it did). His internal struggle between the will to power over his son and his desire to strengthen him is the prime mover of the film; his son's reactions to that are the core. Dreverhaven is also totally fearless; the question arises whether it is caused by bravery or just being tired of life.

The film opens with his son, Jacob Katadreuffe (Fedja van Huêt), coming home, all bloody, only to be arrested as a suspect in the murder of Dreverhaven. He then tells the two interrogators a most amazing story. Since he is describing his own life, one might suspect that he is embellishing the story in his own favour but I believe that he was totally candid.

The story is too complex to dwell on but certain aspects must be mentioned. Jacob's mother, Joba (Betty Schuurman), was a servant to Dreverhaven. On one and only one occasion he may have raped her: it is not made clear if she resisted. As soon as she discovered that she was pregnant, she left him and tried to sever all ties. For a long time, however, Dreverhaven repeatedly proposed marriage and was refused. His motivation is ambiguous (propriety or affection) and Joba was apparently determined not to allow Dreverhaven to beat her in a power struggle.

Because of his Mother's silence, young Jacob believed that she did not like him and, being a pariah because he was illegitimate, he turned to books for solace. Through this he developed a love of learning and a willingness to work hard and he advanced rapidly in a law firm, winning the respect and admiration of most of his colleagues, especially De Gankelaar (Victor Löw), who hired him. De Gankelaar, a man with a huge underbite and a heart to match, became Jacob's mentor, adviser and protector.

Denied access to his son, Dreverhaven began a game of terror against Jacob through legal channels.

The film is a study of character and characters. Their motivations are subtly hidden by consistent and superb acting. In my attempts to understand this dysfunctional family (if it can be called a family) I was forced to think. The slow movement allowed time for that. I want to see the film again, expecting that each viewing will bring a closer understanding. Even the evil Dreverhaven was more an object of pity rather than despicable; his actions were caused more by ignorance of human sensitivities, a dogmatic respect for the law and an unusual philosophy rather than by malice. The film is open-ended. What will Jacob do with the rest of his life?


26 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
What's up with Lorna? animalangels
Ending ozpa
It's a strange way for a father to love his son... mpsgs710
'Karakter' means 'I love you' in Thai spelling!!! bscale
Like 'The Simpsons' ' Frank Grimes? JaneLane-2
Review mob61uk
Discuss Character (1997) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?