Movie Review: My Policeman


Photo Courtesy of Amazon Studios

“My Policeman” is an adaptation of the book of the same title by Bethan Roverts and was directed by Michael Grandage with cinematography by Ben Davis. The film received a 4.7 out of five stars from audiences and a 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, and I agree with these ratings. I enjoyed this beautifully sad exploration of a sexual awakening of a queer man torn between his wife and his male lover.

“My Policeman” is subtle when conveying an emotional appeal, coming across more feminine than masculine when developing tension or emotions. Many male critics say they felt nothing during their viewing, and this is because it is not a typical masculine movie with arguments and hostility. Instead the situation is covered up and emotions are bottled up, so it takes a keen feminine lens to recognize these hidden emotions. This concept is fitting, as the movie is about a relationship between two men, which was illegal at the time. Therefore it is cohesive with the theme of secrecy and calls attention to the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community in the 1950s by authorities in Brighton, England.

Acknowledging the elephant in the room, Harry Styles plays a vulnerable character, opposite of his usual larger-than-life superstar persona. A lot of fans have compared Styles in “Don’t Worry Darling” to “My Policeman,” but these are two completely different movies with different genres, aesthetics and plots.. Part of what made my viewing enjoyable is how well all the actors work together and compliment each other. The on-screen chemistry is obvious, effectively conveying all sorts of emotion from stress, to anger, to friendship, to love, to desperation. It is enjoyable to see their collaboration and noticeable how easily they’re able to bounce off one another.

However, I would like to see more of Marion’s character and her development. Her perspective is unique, as she is the wife of Tom, who is having an affair with another man who happens to be a close friend of the couple. I believe that giving Marion more screen time would heighten the emotions and add an interesting perspective to the plot, allowing viewers an inside look at what it is like to be in this certain situation and all the emotional (internal and external) turmoil that comes with being on the other side of an affair.

Giving credit where credit is due, the aging of the characters in “My Policeman” is scarily accurate. Props to Julie Harkin and Sam Stevens, the casting directors. The film is not only visually incredible, but the gorgeous soundtrack adds ambiance and orients the viewer in the time period. The soundtrack includes period specific songs by Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin and Little Richard. The pace of the film is slow, especially the first 20 to 30 minutes, but in that time, the setting and relationships are established, as well as creating tension and expectations.

Yes, you should see this heartbreaking yet heartwarming film, even though it is slow, it has emotional appeals you may miss, and it stars a singer as the leading man, because LGBTQ+ movies and stories deserve to be seen and heard. In fact, these narratives are an important part of history.