The romantic drama My Policeman is set in two periods of time, 1950s when three individuals were young and then in the 1990s in their retirement age. The main characters are performed by two different trios of actors in the alternating time periods. Trio is emphasized as the story written by Ron Nyswaner is based on the novel by Bethan Roberts, inspired by a decades-long real-life relationship between two men when being gay was a crime and led to arrests and prison. Even though one goes on to marry a teacher, they didn’t refrain from continuing their love affair. Directed by Michael Grandage, I found the film to be a real slice of history in this world that perhaps the younger generations may not be fully aware of or have forgotten after changes seen today. I know the dialogue used by the filmmakers for the time about how women were viewed, as well as the expectations of having a hot meal ready for the husband when he arrives is spot on. I admire the accuracy, although I still do not understand why some people in the audience found it reason to laugh out loud.
As the film begins, an older woman, Marion (Gina McKee), is standing inside a seaside home in a village in the 1990s. Her husband Tom (Linus Roache) is walking the dog, but soon a van arrives and leaves another elder person, Patrick (Rupert Everett), who is bedridden. There is nothing said by the staff to describe who he is but drop off a box of belongings when they install him in one of the bedrooms. Tom is not happy about this caregiving arrangement – in fact he does not look happy at all. He won’t even go close to the door of the bedroom that Patrick occupies as we learn that he is in recovery from a stroke.
When Marion decides to open Patrick’s box of belongings, she has access to the diary style notes from the 1950s and the viewer learns more about this trio who once had a three-way friendship in Brighton, England. At the time, Marion Taylor knew Tom Burgess through friends and got along. Later, Marion (Emma Corrin) became a schoolteacher, Tom (Harry Styles) became a policeman and he initially met museum curator Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson) through a police matter. Sparks flew between them quickly – never to be seen with the same intensity for Marion although they dated.
The story is told between the 90s, to the 1950s, Tom and Patrick are in a full-blown relationship yet Tom decides he needs to be married for professional law enforcement reasons. He marries Marion telling Patrick that she will be sharing him. Marion wants her marriage to work even after Patrick drops in during their honeymoon “to cook” for them. They are not aware of what she sees when they are having a private conversation in the barn. She stays. She tolerates and then she doesn’t. The postcard did it. She is a tolerant woman for sure, even for the 1950s and being professionally employed. Then in the 1990s, she decides to try to right some wrongs, but in doing so, she finds her way to her own dreams.
Rated R (for sexual content). Running time: 113 minutes. Opens Friday, October 21, 2022 in theaters and streams on Prime Video starting Nov. 4.
Source: Amazon Studios