Does “My Policeman” Deserve Jail Time?


Leo Field, Correspondent

Last Friday, the much-anticipated new romantic drama, My Policeman was released in select theaters across the United States.


The film, based on the 2012 novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts, tells the story of a love triangle between a female school teacher, a policeman, and a museum curator in 1950s London. Tom, the policeman, falls in love with and starts dating Marion, the schoolteacher. As the movie progresses, Tom also pursues a relationship with Patrick, the museum curator, which complicates his relationship with both Marion and the law, as homosexuality was illegal at the time. When the three become close friends and Marion stays oblivious to her husband’s affair, tensions rise and eventually come to a head.


My Policeman is yet another instance of Harry Styles attempting to expand his career as an actor, with it being his second starring role this year, after his role as Jack Chambers in Don’t Worry Darling. With that being said, being in more movies does not necessarily correspond to better performances, and Styles’ acting in My Policeman proves that. His performance here is admittedly better than it was in Don’t Worry Darling, and he definitely does a good job of taking on a more serious role and adapting to the serious tone of the film. Nevertheless, his delivery is still very bland and his chemistry with the other actors simply isn’t there.


To be clear, Styles’ lackluster performance doesn’t mean that there aren’t any good performances in My Policeman. Emma Corrin in particular gives a great rendition of Marion and does an excellent job of conveying the troubles her character faces. David Dawson also gives a solid interpretation of Patrick, although it isn’t really anything groundbreaking. In addition to these quality performances, the cinematography of this movie is a standout. The shots are really gorgeous and immerse you in both the location of London and the time period of the 1950s.


The main issue that My Policeman has would have to be the overall story and how it is told. While the movie does tell an important story about the unfair treatment of the gay community in history, this is all done at a very surface level: there is no connection to present-day social issues or any deeper examination of society’s morals. Exploring these morals would have made for a more impactful and important story. In any case, My Policeman is, at its heart, a love story with tragedy interwoven into it. It spends most of its runtime focusing on the building up and eventually the falling apart of the relationship between the three main characters. Because of this, the movie ends up devolving into something slow-paced and at times unengaging.


My Policeman is indeed based on a book of the same name, which was published in 2012, and a large question surrounding the movie is whether or not the film does a good job of adapting the book. Sophomore Lola Duhov, an avid fan of the book, shared her thoughts on the film, saying, “The movie was an amazing adaptation, bringing in almost every little detail from the story into the scenes, making it extremely enjoyable for someone who has read the book!”


All things considered, this movie really comes down to personal preference. If you enjoy a character-focused, slow-burn-type movie, then My Policeman is for you! This is also a great watch for fans of good cinematography, intimate storytelling, and, of course, Harry Styles. And while I personally did not enjoy My Policeman as much as others, it is definitely worth a watch.