My policeman review [Prime Video]

Direction: Michael Grandage | Scenario: Ron Nyswaner | Cast: Harry Styles (Younger Tom), Emma Corrin (Younger Marion), Rupert Everett (Patrick), Gina McKee (Marion), David Dawson (Younger Patrick), Linus Roache (Tom), ao | Playing time: 113 minutes | Year: 2022

If you live in a time where society believes that two grown people should not be in love with each other because it deviates from the norm and can even land you in jail for it, there is not much to do but stop appearances and show your true self keeping emotions behind closed doors. My policeman shows such a relationship, including the problems associated with it. But such a view through several glasses gives mixed feelings.

Marion decides to take in her and her husband’s childhood friend Tom after he suffers a stroke and needs care. Only Tom won’t even meet him. Marion reminisces and fills in the gaps by reading this friend’s diaries. Confronting the past raises doubts in Marion about her current life. Because the man she brought in, Patrick, used to have a gay relationship with Tom.

The first part of the film is about the growing bond between Marion and Tom in the 1950s. He is interested in increasing his cultural knowledge and asks her for help. She soon gets to know Tom’s friend Patrick and the three of them go out regularly.

Only later do you learn, through a further flashback, what the bond between the two men was like when a woman came between them, and this is where the film really begins to captivate. The images you have just seen are now placed in a different perspective, and this makes mincemeat an idyllic memory.

It doesn’t stop there conflict-wise, because that’s how the ball gets rolling. Feelings don’t just go away, no matter how much you want them to. Only that makes it harder. You feel for Tom, Patrick and Marion, but at the same time, all three of them are guilty.

Tom and Patrick can’t help but be who they are. Yet Tom makes the conscious choice to pick up a girl, knowing the relationship will be a lie. Patrick can’t turn off his love, but he’s now playing nice weather against the person behind whose back he prefers to see her go. Marion doesn’t turn out to be sinless either, but that comes late enough in the film not to reveal that here.

But the feeling remains: what should I think of these people? You understand them and they are nice people, but you can’t really agree with anyone. Fortunately, this also begins to dawn on Marion at a later age. Right from the start, the story fluctuates quite a bit between the past and the present (the 1990s), which makes it a bit tedious to get into the story.

But as soon as it becomes clearer what has transpired in the past, those moments in the present become a little more difficult. My policeman is really a film where you have to go through the beginning to get to the heart. The pictures can entertain you in the meantime. Nowhere is the composition impressive enough to really stand out, but the film shows a convincing Brighton of seventy years ago.

Of course, it’s more thanks to the sets, clothes and make-up. The rock ‘n’ roll hits that pass in easy excess aren’t actually needed to convince you. That time frame is therefore significant, because in 50’s Britain it was a veritable witch hunt for homosexuals. The film shows this, but could have been a little more oppressive to get a really good sense of what it would have been like to be in the shoes of an LGBT person at that time.

The title sounds a bit silly, something a small child would say when they see the police officer. But the moment “my policeman” is said out loud, it turns out to be a worthy title. All three main characters acquire something when it should have come naturally – and if it didn’t, it just wasn’t meant to be. Not knowing who to anchor to is an interesting fact, but it also ensures that you just drift along throughout the film and are involved from a distance. But it is certain that you will eventually become involved.

My policeman can be seen on Prime Video.

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