Losey’s film is one of the great depictions, not of systematic racism, but of systematic indifference. Monsieur Klein, profiteering art dealer and metaphor, begins in a Renoir film full of fine art and châteaux and multiple mistresses and ends up in a Costa-Gavros film, where he’s the most elegantly dressed in a hastily converted detention center being hustled into boxcar amid his former clients, all the while insisting this has nothing to do with him.
Monsieur Robert Klein is being punk’d by a second, and Jewish, Robert Klein who hopes to throw the collaborator French police off his scent. It’s mysterious and Kafkaesque, and I would add Dostoevskian, because this reminded me of his novella,The Double. But whereas Golyadkin’s double is merely mischievous, Klein’s is quite sinister. As with all such literary doppelgängers, the two Kleins are rounded up and united in the end.