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Throughout the film we see Lily and Monescu operating under an alternate identity in order to gain the trust of Colet and steal her money. Francois Filiba embodies this theme of identity throughout the picture in that he cannot remember if he has met Monescu or not. Though he cannot remember him his instinct is that he knows him from somewhere, he just can't place him yet. Thus a search within his mind is constantly going on for the true identity of this man as Monescu slips in and out of character with Colet and her associates and with his love, Lily as they carry on to rob the perfume magnate.
The whole theme behind creating a new identity for Monescu and Lily is about betrayal. They prey on the rules of society which tend to keep people out of an elevated class and turn them upside down to work for their advantage. Monescu does this by pointing out Colet's foolishness with money thus leading her to turn over her finances to him for "safe-keeping." Thus Monescu and Lily betray the moral code of honest and trust with Madame Colet. Monescu also betrays Lily and Colet as he toys with their hearts. He leads Colet on to believe that he is in love with her only to betray her for her money. And he betrays Lily by falling in love with Colet while working a job on her.
We only see or hear of Monescu and Lily stealing from the wealthy, never from those who are in need. It is a theme that is subtle but very important in this film. Monescu and Lily are simply taking from the rich in order to supply their needs in the world, and they are sought after by the police world-wide. At the end of the film we watch as Monescu tells Colet that Giron was the one who stole the money from her. She has just said that if she discovers the money is gone in her safe then she won't speak, she will take action and call the police. But when she hears Giron was the thief, which Monescu lied about, she does not take action she instead sits down and seemingly lets it go. Monescu's point is that when criminals from the wealthy class, or from high up in a profitable business steal they are let off the hook. But when a normal man steals it cannot be overlooked and must be punished. Thus the film is stating that the scales for the wealthy and the poor are unbalanced.
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