“My Policeman”: A beautiful but dreary drama 


An adaptation of the critically acclaimed book “My Policeman” by Bethan Roberts, the recently released film of the same name tells the story of the intertwined relationships between Tom, Marion and Patrick. 

Tom, played by singer and actor Harry Styles, is a policeman in 1950s England who finds himself in a blossoming relationship with a schoolteacher, Marion. Marion is played by Emma Corrin who is best known for their role in “The Crown.” The story revolves around themes of complex relationships and identity. The film deals with a time period when homosexuality was illegal and considered unnatural and portrays the forbidden bond between Patrick and Tom as well as its impact on Tom’s marriage. 

The production design of the film is one detail that greatly adds to the overall experience; the wistful frames, consistent color palette and the set designs of many of the buildings such as the museum and mansions brought life and an added sense of realism to the film. 

Unlike the impressive production design, some of the acting in the film left one wanting more. An exception was David Dawson who brilliantly portrayed Patrick. Dawson effortlessly depicted the sophistication, passion and pain inherently present in his character. Corrin’s performance was adequate but seemed rather subdued, not leaving much room for a resonating performance. Styles, who was arguably given the most complex character of the three, did not always seem up to the task of conveying the necessary emotional depth and inner turmoil that was required of him. The performance of Gina McKee, playing an older Marion, was also impressive as she gave the character the added dimension of regret and desire to atone. The character had a multidimensional persona that seemed to be missing in Corrin’s performance. 

There were also some issues with the pacing of the film; the constant flipping between past and present becomes a bit jarring and the modern-day scenes of the film do not seem to be as fully realized as the scenes set in the past. There seemed to be a vast disconnect between the two time periods which made it difficult to form any significant emotional connection or attachment to the characters. 

However, despite some of the pacing issues that result from the back-and-forth flashbacks, the artistic vision and muted directorial style of Michael Grandage is executed 

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