Exeter, Devon UK • Feb 21, 2024 • VOL XII

Exeter, Devon UK • [date-today] • VOL XII
Home Screen Review: My Policeman has potential but ultimately disappoints

Review: My Policeman has potential but ultimately disappoints

Harry Styles nearly jeopardises Amazon's adaptation of My Policeman, which Lisette Reed enjoys for its mostly strong performances and direction
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Review: My Policeman has potential but ultimately disappoints

My Policeman: Official Trailer: Prime Video

Harry Styles nearly jeopardises Amazon’s adaptation of My Policeman, which Lisette Reed enjoys for its mostly strong performances and direction

When I found out that Michael Grandage’s ‘My Policeman’ was starring Emma Corrin, David Dawson and Harry Styles, I was excited, yet nervous, to see what the chemistry between these actors would amount to. After seeing Emma Corrin in Netflix’s The Crown, as Lady Diana, I knew their performance would not disappoint. Likewise, David Dawson’s portrayals in both Channel 4’s Year of the Rabbit and BBC’s Peaky Blinders filled me with hope. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Harry Styles.  

The film is set in 1950s Brighton, though it parallels with future versions of the three protagonists. A policeman, Tom (Harry Styles), falls in love with his friend, a schoolteacher, called Marion (Emma Corrin). Whilst on patrol, Tom meets the eccentric, artistic Patrick (David Dawson) and the two form a relationship, behind the eyes of the law and Marion.  

Though Grandage’s directions are well-coordinated, along with the scriptwriting, this adaptation of the book has left many fans of the original disappointed and it’s understandable why with its particularly rushed ending. Since the beginning of the film took a long time to unveil this world to us, as viewers it’s very easy to feel like the ending was rather anti-climactic. Of course, there were a few plot-twists, but their reveals were not as well orchestrated as at the beginning of the film. Despite this, the cinematography and framing of the film was very aesthetically pleasing and fitted the overall concept of the film.  

This adaptation of the book has left many fans of the original disappointed and it’s understandable why with its particularly rushed ending.

The performances of both Emma Corrin and David Dawson were incredible, and their relationship was very much one of jealousy and ownership over Tom. Other honourable mentions of acting include Rupert Everett, Gina McKee and Linus Roache, who play the older versions of Patrick. Marion and Tom and perfectly execute the guilt and sorrow of their future selves. Now onto the alleged star of the show – Harry Styles.

After watching his performances in Dunkirk (2017) and Don’t Worry Darling (2022), I was unsure how this particular film would work out as it’s a completely different setting from his other works. Of course, playing My Policeman’s key protagonist obviously created a lot of responsibility and pressure for Styles over how the rest of the film would be perceived. But to quote the man himself, from the Don’t Worry Darling press interviews, “it feels like a movie”. This may seem obvious and you’re reading this thinking, “well yes, it is a movie” but in terms of acting, Styles felt completely rigid and unnatural. His performance was good at times, however in others, it felt like he was performing for his GCSE in drama, not a major Amazon Studios movie.  

In terms of acting, Styles felt completely rigid and unnatural. His performance was good at times, however in others, it felt like he was performing for his GCSE in drama, not a major Amazon Studios movie.  

Overall, this film was enjoyable at times, but it felt like the performances of Emma Corrin and David Dawson were overshadowed by Harry Style’s overrated appearance. This story is so beautiful and had so much potential, if only a different actor was considered for the role of Tom.   

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