Toronto International Film Festival Review – ‘My Policeman’ Weaves Overlapping Love Stories Together

Not all love stories have a happy ending. The more passionate the romance, the more tragic its evolution and eventual dissolution can be. There are also people who come together and stay together but never feel the passion they read about in the books or see in the movies, but accept that not all marriages or partnerships are legends. my policeman explores two parallel love stories from a nostalgic perspective, checking in on the three people involved as they think back to their roles in events decades earlier.

Marion (Gina McKee) agrees to take in Patrick (Rupert Everett) after he has a stroke, something her husband Tom (Linus Roache) hates so much. As Marion struggles to communicate with the mostly non-verbal and irritable Patrick, she remembers the first time they met. Marion (Emma Corrin) was immediately taken with Tom (Harry Styles), a young and friendly policeman. Museum curator Patrick (David Dawson) was also charmed by Tom, exploring his own secret relationship behind closed doors while befriending Marion and spending time with the public heterosexual couple on a regular basis.

Amazon Studios

my policeman is based on the novel of the same name by Bethan Roberts and takes its title from the way Patrick adoringly refers to his lover in his eloquent diary entries. The use of this descriptor is particularly charged in 1950s Britain since homosexuality is a crime, and both men know that, if found out, they risk prison time and miserable treatment by the from all who deny them. But they’re desperate to stay away from each other, and Tom knows he has to find a way to keep up the appearances that end up getting between them because he can’t lead a committed life with two. different people at the same time.

The structure of my policeman is compelling, framing Tom as an object of affection who is initially the central character of Marion’s story, then focuses even more on Patrick’s. The flashes to the present where Tom refuses to walk down the hall to greet his weakened guest point to a lot of pain and repression, and Marion is the one who has to witness it, first as a young woman seeing her husband attracted to someone. somewhere else and at a later age, because Tom refuses to go back to what mattered to him in his past.

my policeman
Amazon Studios

my policeman is anchored by two phenomenal performances from Styles and Dawson. When their characters first meet, Tom jumps in to help the man who’s asked for his help dealing with the aftermath of a robbery and shows such sweet kindness that Patrick can’t help but be overjoyed. Styles and Dawson convey the deep feelings Tom and Patrick have for each other and also how they must hide who they are lest their affair and perceived perversion be discovered. Corrin and McKee are also well matched, showing what it’s like to be the third person in a relationship that can end up as one of the last two standing, but still has to give something of itself in the process. process.

The solid cast is aided by fine camera work that allows its three leads to stand out in every scene, decked out in elegant period clothing and surrounded by art and life. Scenes set in the present become more relevant and poignant as the past that shapes them is revealed, and the film reaches a heartfelt and lingering conclusion that can’t address everything that happened but provides a good start. These characters feel vibrant, flawed, and totally alive, existing so vehemently in their happiest moments and resigned to misery and torment when what they all want can’t be achieved.

Grade: B+

Check out more articles from Abe Friedtanzer.

After its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, my policeman hits theaters October 21st and on Prime Video on November 4e.

Comments are closed.