Jean-Luc Keller In ‘Lupin,’ Explained: Did Jean Steal The Black Pearl?

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Assane Diop had read every book written by Maurice Leblanc, and that is why he knew every trick, every strategy, and every move ever executed by the character Arsene Lupin. But, in Lupin Part 3, Assane realized that dealing with a problem in real life was very different from just reading things in a novel. Life is not predictable, and every individual, at some point in time, finds himself stuck in a situation for which he was not prepared beforehand. Assane might have been a master planner, but he, too, at times, was caught off guard. Assane had come back to Paris so that he could stage his own death and make things easier for his family. But his past came to haunt him, and he had not imagined in his wildest dreams the kind of things he would have to do and the kind of days he would have to see in the near future. Assane, after successfully stealing the Black Pearl and making people believe that he had died, thought that his troubles were over and his family would be able to live their lives without any hassle. But he was wrong, as the game had just started, and his opponent was in no mood to let him go so easily. So let’s find out who this person was who became a nightmare for Assane and if he was able to get the better of him.

Spoiler Alert


Who was Jean-Luc Keller?

In the year 1998, after Assane’s father had passed away, his friend Bruno introduced him to a man named Jean Luc Keller, who ran a boxing academy in the town. Keller was a shrewd man, and he knew that he was gaining a lot by providing for these homeless kids, who didn’t have anybody to support them. All the kids who came to him at first felt that Keller was a generous man who had saved them from the social service agents and gave them the opportunity to live their lives however they wanted. But Keller was no nobleman, as he coerced these kids to commit crimes and kept all the proceeds he got from there.

One time, in Lupin Part 3, he took Bruno and Assane with him and asked them to rob a store. Assane didn’t feel that it was the right thing to do, but Keller didn’t give them an option. He told them that a football match was going on, and they would find the store empty as everybody would be busy watching the match. The kids robbed the place and, together with Keller, escaped from the scene. A policeman started following them, and Keller asked Bruno to shoot him. Bruno shot him, and that’s when Keller lost the balance of the vehicle and met with an accident. The boys were lucky that day, as they were able to escape from the scene without anybody noticing. Keller was caught by the law enforcement authorities, and he spent the next 25 years behind bars. Keller had promised himself that the day he would come out of prison, he would make Assane’s life a living hell. He wanted to become Assane’s reckoning, and that is exactly what he did after the latter staged his death and stole the Black Pearl.


How did Keller take the Black Pearl from Assane?

Assane had stolen this precious artifact, i.e., the Black Pearl, by risking his life and breaching multiple levels of security in the Place Vendome Museum in Paris. It was said that the Black Pearl, aka Arii Poerava, had ended the French-Tahitian War in 1857, and that is why the manager, Mr. Imbert, had taken all the security measures that he could to protect it. Bruno, Benjamin, and Assane, disguised as SWAT agents, entered the building and stole it. After that, Assane convinced the world that he had died, and he thought that his problems would finally come to an end. But it was not so, as he saw a classified advertisement in the newspaper and realized that his mother was trying to communicate something to him. He called a phone number given there, and he came to know that his mother, Mariama, had been kidnapped, and the perpetrators wanted the Black Pearl to be handed over to them.

Assane did as he was asked; after going to such lengths to steal the Black Pearl, he had to give it away to the kidnappers. For the longest time, Assane had no clue who these people were. Keller, his daughter, Manon, and his right-hand man, Ferdinand, were behind the kidnapping, and they wanted to teach Assane a lesson by destroying his life. They had no intention of leaving Mariama alive, but for the time being, they were using her to force Assane to do things for them. From finding a missing manet to stealing a priceless sapphire bracelet, Assane did everything he could, but he realized that they would not leave his mother alive. Assane decided that he would have to find a way to get the better of these kidnappers, as otherwise, they would not let him live.


What Happens To Keller And The Black Pearl?

Mariama was able to escape from captivity, and that’s what shifted the scales in Assane’s favor. He got to know that it was Keller who was pulling the reins, and he made a plan to defeat him at his own game. Assane went to meet Manon, who had just been released from prison and convinced her to help his cause. He told her what had happened back in the day and how it was no fault of theirs that Keller had been caught by the police. Manon agreed, and she called Keller to meet at a specified place with the Black Pearl. Assane, meanwhile, in Lupin Part 3, called Youssef and told him he wanted to surrender to the authorities. Youssef couldn’t believe him, as the news seemed too good to be true, but Assane told him that there were no tricks involved and that he actually meant each and every word he spoke.

Assane met Keller, and the latter had no clue that he had even called the police there. Keller told him that because of him, his entire life had been ruined, but the man was delusional, as he was the one who had forced the kids to commit the crime. When Keller realized that the police had arrived at the scene, he had no option but to give the Black Pearl to Assane and escape from there. But Keller didn’t know that the police knew that he was the one who had killed his man, Ferdinand, and even if they didn’t find the Black Pearl on him, they would arrest him for the murder. Assane gave a flower to a woman in which he hid the Black Pearl, and he had already asked Bruno to take it from her. Bruno might sell the pearl on the black market and share the proceeds with Assane’s family and Benjamin.

Maybe Jean-Luc Keller would return in Lupin Part 4, but as of now, he was sent to prison, and he must have realized that it was his own fault because of which he had met such a fate. Vengeance had blinded Keller, and he failed to realize what the children had to go through because of him back in the day. They trusted him, and he forced them to commit crimes under the pretext of loyalty. We don’t even know how many lives he destroyed, but now, he has all the time in the world to reflect on his actions and come to terms with the fact that he was the one who was at fault.


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Sushrut Gopesh
Sushrut Gopesh
I came to Mumbai to bring characters to life. I like to dwell in the cinematic world and ponder over philosophical thoughts. I believe in the kind of cinema that not necessarily makes you laugh or cry but moves something inside you.

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