My Policeman is a great missed opportunity

My Policeman is a great missed opportunity

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According to the public reviews of My Policeman (from November 4th on Prime Video) on Rotten Tomatoes, the Lgbtq + period is a masterpiece; for criticism, a disaster. The tip of the balance hangs towards the judgment of the seconds, because the film based on the novel by Bethan Roberts, directed by Michael Grandage of Genius, scripted by Ron Nyswaner of Philadelphia and financed by the production company of Arrow's Greg Berlanti boasts crazy premises but he ends up suffocated by a sophisticated, cold and dry execution and a glaring difference in height between the performances of the cast members. My Policeman is set in the 1950s - when in the UK being homosexual was punishable by law and gays were still treated like Oscar Wilde in the penal colony, and the 1990s - when the protagonists gather around Patrick, recovering from a stroke. Or rather, it is only his friend Marion who is close to him, because Tom, her husband and former lover of his, keeps a strict, mysterious, distance.

The plot runs back and forth in time; in the 90s segments, we find Patrick - a tired, defeated and ailing Rupert Everett -, Marion - an enigmatic Gina McKee who insisted on taking him home and heal him, and Tom - an angry and bitter Linus Roache, lending their features to the older versions of the characters embodied by David Dawson, Emma Corrin (Lady D in My Crown 4) and Harry Styles respectively. The megastar of music is the reason for the stellar reviews of the public, dictated by love rather than by critical judgment; the creators of cinema want to monetize it by exploiting its visibility in all ways, convincing that it is enough to parry it in front of the camera to channel its chameleon-like stage charisma. Yet no, the English singer is not the DO of Exo, he is not one of those few young pop music performers who can also boast a supernatural talent as actors: Harry can offer a good physical performance, but when he gives voice to the lines the contrast with the monstrously good Dawson, it's irrefutable.

It is not really Styles' fault, but of the desire to appropriate a slice of his success of Berlanti and Grandage: the latter admitted that he was shocked (and seduced) by the reactions of the public to the news of the casting by Styles; it turned out that her presence destroyed a period that should have focused not on her beauty but on the story - that of a love triangle between a naive teacher, a simpleton policeman who wants to rise intellectually and a sophisticated esthete - destroyed by prejudices and the homophobic laws of the time. My Policeman could have been a powerful LGBT manifesto and instead Grandage, precisely seduced by the vicarious popularity that Styles could bring to him, transforms the film into a superficial apple tree preferring to do his best in the so-called fan service focused on what is already an idol of fanfiction. The mdp hovers around Styles like the vulture from The Fall, as if he were filming a beautiful statue, and lingers on numerous sex scenes - that glossy sex that lingers icily and almost chastely on the entangled bodies - and that has no nothing raw and passionate. And passion is exactly what My Policeman lacks.

That trio united by the love for art that lingers in ecstasy in front of the paintings by Turner, who cites the Russian authors and William Blake, is portrayed only superficially. Nothing is really examined about their feelings, resentment towards Patrick, the erosion of Marion's innocence, the cruelty of Patrick's fate, the complicated worries that must have tormented the protagonists of such a complicated and painful ménage a trois. My Policeman is a tragic and empty melodrama. It is also inexplicable also how Marion and Patrick consider Tom a god, a sublime and almost otherworldly creature, when what we are shown is a handsome young man like Dorian Gray's portrait and with zero charisma. Dawson, already spectacular in British series such as Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Ripper Street and especially in Luther is, as mentioned, magnificent. He exudes magnetism, fragility, elegance, culture, sweetness and tragic stature. The more mature version of him, Rupert Everett, does what he can despite Grandage providing him with very few opportunities to shine, and it is unclear why he was not entrusted with the role of Tom, more suited to him by nature and physical likeness.

In the end, My Policeman is a great missed opportunity to tell a tragic story of love, deception, guilt, denial, illusion and injustice that was also a critique of the stupidity and cruelty of homophobia, worn down by the lack of passion and soul, and undermined by the temptation - that, however, abounds - to exploit Styles' visibility.

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