Based on the 2012 book of the same name by Bethan Roberts, My Policeman follows three young British people- policeman Tom (Harry Styles), teacher Marion (Emma Corrin), and museum curator Patrick (David Dawson)- as they struggle with their love for one another and secrets from the past. The film, directed by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Ron Nyswaner (who also wrote 1993’s Philadelphia) highlights the emotional journey of Marion, Patrick, and the man they are both in love with- Tom. The audience watches their story unfold in both the 1950s and 1990s, alternating between the two, after retiree Patrick (Rupert Everett) suffers a stroke and moves in with Marion and Tom (played in the later years by Gina McKee and Linus Roache).
This is such a heartbreaking story about love and loss. While stories about the taboo of homosexuality in the past have been done many times over, My Policeman is especially sad to watch as Tom in an authority figure and being gay is illegal. He has a new wife and though we see that she sticks by him throughout the years, she’s also broken down by the love he has for Patrick. In the more present day portions of the film, Marion must come to terms with Tom’s love affair all over again when she finds Patrick’s old journals that detail the time the two men spent together.
The three younger actors work very well to set up the tension and heartbreak of the trio’s story. Without their emotions, it would be hard to focus on the the characters in their golden years. While Corin, Dawson and Styles have a lot of screen time together, we don’t see Everett, McKee and Roache in the same formations. McKee and Roache especially have strong chemistry during their scenes and it helps to know their history as portrayed by Corin and Styles. We can see and understand the longing they have had all of these years.
This isn’t a lighthearted film at all, but it’s a deep story that highlights the unhappiness and forgiveness so many of us must come to terms with. What keeps the audience locked into the story, in my opinion, is that we don’t know all the pieces of their puzzle until the end.
My Policeman is in select theatres now and will be available on Prime Video November 4th.