my-policeman-movie-review

“My Policeman” -  Movie Review

Story posted November 3, 2022 in Arts & Entertainment by Kaitlyn Murphy.

“My Policeman” Movie Review

With all of the drama and criticism that “Don’t Worry Darling” struck up in the media, it’s easy to forget that Harry Styles had a second film releasing this year, a book-to-screen adaptation called “My Policeman.”

“My Policeman” follows three friends, Marion (Emma Corrin), Patrick (David Dawson) and Tom (Styles), who live and work in 1950s Britain.

The film opens with the characters as older versions of themselves in the modern day, and shows Marion bringing an invalid Patrick into her home with Tom. Tom is extremely upset with Marion for allowing Patrick to recover in their house, but Marion insists that after what they put him through it was only right.

The mystery of what happened between the three individuals gets the viewer invested right from the start.

Shortly after, the audience is taken back in time to the 50s when Tom and Marion were first introduced by Tom’s sister one day at the beach. The two spark an instant connection that blossoms into a close friendship.

Unbeknownst to Marion, at this time Tom was also meeting in secret with Patrick after an innocent portrait drawing session led to something deeper.

The film goes on to follow Tom attempting to balance the two sides of himself in a time when homosexuality was an arrestable crime.

The cinematography in the film is absolutely gorgeous, with the cool blue tones of the beach Tom and Marion meet on and the pool they swim in together starkly contrasting the dim, yellow lighting of Patrick’s apartment where he and Tom spend their nights.

Tom could be bright and open while strolling outside with Marion, but he had to keep the parts of him that loved Patrick locked away in the darkest caverns of his heart.

All three actors playing the young versions of the characters had different dynamics that grew the viewer’s investment in the story. Styles and Corrin conveyed the lightness and wonder of a new relationship, with Corrin bashfully watching Styles’s back muscles as he swam and recommending books when he suggested that he wanted to improve himself by reading more.

They were wholesome, what couples were expected to be at the time.

On the complete opposite end, Dawson and Styles had an electric chemistry and created such passion in their scenes that viewers truly felt like they were intruding on a moment that should’ve been kept private. Both actors seemed nothing less than one hundred percent committed to their role, which made the film work in ways that Styles’s other release, “Don’t Worry Darling,” did not.

Styles was given a much deeper and more personal script with “My Policeman,” and he handled the role of Tom with a respectful care that should not go ignored.

The actors playing older Marion (Gina McKee) and Tom (Tom Burgess) proved how even if a relationship starts off beautifully, time can be the cruelest enemy of love. While many of their scenes were spent arguing or simply coexisting instead of truly being with each other, it only makes sense when the viewer learns why Marion insisted they bring Patrick to their home.

“My Policeman” covers the themes of love, guilt, and lost time throughout the entire piece, and ties everything together in the conclusion. The final scene left most of the theater frantically wiping their eyes before the lights came on, which shows the power that simple, understated filmmaking can have on an audience’s emotions.

This was not an absolutely flawless film, some of the big reveals by the end were slightly predictable and have been done before. However, “My Policeman” was not meant to bring the thrilling shock factor that “Don’t Worry Darling” was expected to.

“My Policeman” is a character-driven story that conveys the complexities of being homosexual and in love in the 1950s, and the immense pain that comes when even those closest to you see you as a completely different person when they find out.

The viewer is left to wonder if they should be happy that LGBTQ+ couples are now receiving the rights and respect they deserve in the modern age, or mourn for all of those who could not be with the ones they loved for so long before.

Rating: 5/5

Kaitlyn Murphy is a first-year majoring in digital and print journalism. To contact her, email kvm6255@psu.edu.