By Erin Howatson
Michael Grandage’s gloomy retelling of ‘My Policeman’ is heart-breaking and bittersweet in all the best ways.
My Policeman follows the lives of three young people in the late 1950s- Tom (Harry Styles), Marion (Emma Corrin), and Patrick (David Dawson). A forbidden love affair between the two men in the midst of Tom and Marion’s marriage is revealed while the film occasionally flashes forward to the 1990s, when the trio find themselves retired, reunited and reliving their past heartaches.
While My Policeman has received its fair share of criticism, I believe it is a perfectly understated story that lends itself to a more casual Sunday afternoon viewing. The story drags slightly in the film’s first 30-45 minutes, but once its plot has been fully established, it really pulls you in.
The acting performances from Corrin and Dawson are particularly great. Both actors deliver emotional performances that each demonstrate their very different dilemmas as the love triangle evolves. While slightly outshone by his castmates, Styles’ performance remains convincing, and presents a big improvement from his acting in previous projects.
While I think My Policeman could have been more ambitious, Grandage happens to play it safe with the direction of the film which lets it down in some respects. However, the performances and the emotion within the plot itself carry it through and make it worth watching.
The last scene between an aged-up Tom (Linus Roache) and Patrick (Rupert Everett) really steals the show. Tom visits Patrick for the first time in 30 years. He places a gentle hand on Patrick’s shoulder- a heart-breaking recollection of their first kiss. Patrick instantly recognises his touch and melts into the embrace. It is a bittersweet ending for the characters that gives the audience hope after two hours of melancholy and heartbreak.