HomeMoviesAmazon's 'My Policeman' Doesn't Dig Deep Enough

Amazon’s ‘My Policeman’ Doesn’t Dig Deep Enough

My Policeman
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video

Director Michael Grandage’s new film, My Policeman, delivers a tender queer romance story with some notable moments and performances, but also features some hefty flaws.

The film, based on Bethan Roberts’s 2012 novel of the same name, takes viewers into 1950s Brighton, England, where Tom (Harry Styles), a closeted policeman, starts a relationship with Marion (Emma Corrin) while in a secretive romance with museum curator Patrick (David Dawson). Once Marion notices Tom and Patrick’s relationship, it not only has the potential to ruin their lives in the moment, but also still affects them decades later, when the three of them are reunited.

The overall storytelling of My Policeman is very strong, as it creates an engaging, time-spanning narrative that sees the present looking back at the past. With an older Marion (Gina McKee) and Tom (Linus Roache) being reunited with Patrick (Rupert Everett) after he comes to stay with them while he deals with major health issues, Marion gets a glimpse into the past as she reads Patrick’s journal detailing his secret relationship with Tom. This framing allows for the flashbacks to the ’50s to feel organic and helps create a good flow within the story as Marion gains a new perspective on her life leading up to this point. It also helps build great arcs for Marion, as her reading gets her to think deeper about herself and her relationship with Tom.

The tone and atmosphere that Grandage achieves with My Policeman carries some tender emotion as well as some underlying intensity throughout. Even with some of the more tender moments of romance between Tom and Marion as well as Tom and Patrick that simply burst with loving and lustful emotion, there’s still this tension that stems from the outside world. The fear of Tom and Patrick’s relationship being discovered not only comes from Tom’s concern of his relationship with Marion being affected, but from the outside world, where gay men and women are arrested and imprisoned, intruding on their lives in damaging ways. So, even when the film feels at its most loving, there’s still a sense of concern present to make for a complex atmosphere.

Unfortunately, the film doesn’t quite nail creating this fulfilling experience and story because it’s a little too thin. The overall story simply feels basic and kind of typical when it comes to this kind of romance story. There are rarely any unique avenues taken or shown in delving into the romances of My Policeman and it feels like physical moments of love are prioritized over actual dialogue, making for hollow feelings. The attempts at surprising viewers or creating shocking reveals sadly underwhelm or feel so basic that they’re obvious. The opportunity to delve deeper into society’s homophobic views and actions during this time is sorely missed and only reaches the surface level.

The only thing that really conveys the experiencing of being gay during this time is Dawson’s performance, since he evokes some great emotion and personal strife within Patrick throughout. Even in moments where Patrick maybe is a little mischievous and outward in trying to breakup Marion and Tom, Dawson helps keep his perspective and personal anguish present, making his emotions real and his desires for love genuine. The performances from McKee, Roach, and Everett are also strong with how they can evoke lingering feelings in deeply emotional ways–especially Roach in a tear-jerking breakdown–and allow the story to end on a satisfying note with the realizations and self-discoveries they have. Styles and Corrin, though, are kind of lifeless and just pale in comparison to Dawson in the lack of connective emotion they deliver, and it makes the moments where Tom and Marion are solely on-screen feel incredibly dull.

My Policeman has some great aspects that make it a tender love story with some potential for uniqueness and greatness, but it often struggles to overcome the thinness of its narrative and the inconsistency of its performances, resulting in some hollowness and disengagement.

My Policeman is now streaming on Amazon.

Tom Moore
Tom Moorehttps://mooreviews.com/
Tom is always ready to see and review everything horrifying and hilarious that hits theaters, television, and video games...sometimes. You can check out his other reviews and articles on his blog, Mooreviews.

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