Dashing newlyweds Marion Taylor (Emma Corrin, they/them) and Tom Burgess (Harry Styles, he/him) are two dapper, young Brits in 1950s Brighton. The two have their whole lives ahead of them in a picture-perfect marriage.
But this peace cannot last.
The couple befriends one Patrick Hazlewood (David Dawson, he/him) who opens Tom’s eyes to his long-buried homosexuality as a relationship blossoms between the two in secret. Across thirty years, we observe how these painful secrets impact all involved in a story of lies, regrets, heartbreak, and, ultimately, accepting defeat in the face of the truth.
So, I’ll begin with The Truth and I’ll conclude with My Truth. Sound good? Good.
The plot of My Policeman sounds like somebody played Mad Libs with the synopsis of Brokeback Mountain. If you’re gay, and you’ve already scoured the bottom of the barrel for representation like the rest of us, you’ve definitely seen this one before. This movie doesn’t have anything new to say about the story it regurgitates, and because of this, its existence is distractingly unjustified.
And, because there’s such a lack of insight here, a solid case can be made that this movie only serves to exploit gay trauma for the sweet, delicious drama it has to offer.
(Also, for my liking, the movie doesn’t express enough sympathy for the years of abuse inflicted on a gay man and instead chooses to cry for the unforgivably selfish straight woman who destroyed his life because she feels really bad about it. Anyway.)
But, now for My Truth: honestly, I don’t hate this movie.
A lot of the shallow, dishonest writing is saved by the really dedicated cast. Corrin and Dawson are especially strong here. And, while I think it’s somewhat irresponsible to cast a world-famous pop star as a regular person, Harry Styles is fine.
Because of this, my heart really bled for Tom and Patrick’s lost time. My Policeman is at its best when it depicts the feelings of regret and shame that come with an unfulfilled gay existence, and I found myself feeling genuinely moved between my fits of frustration and disappointment.
Do I personally believe that trade-off is worth it? No, definitely not. But Your Truth might be different.