This Periodic love story has you emotionally stunned. Adapted from the 2012 novel ‘My Policeman’ by Bethan Roberts based in 1950s England, it shows restrictions on homosexuality. The book is said to have fictionalized the real relationship between novelist E.M. Foster, his police officer, and Policeman’s wife.
This British melodrama is set in flashbacks(in 1950) and many later years(in 1999). Different actors play the character’s past and present roles and the story is shown from every character’s perspective in the flashbacks.
Starring: Harry Styles, Emma Corrin, David Dawson, Linus Roache, Rupert Everett, Gina Mckee
The movie begins in 1999 with a retired school teacher Marion(Gina Mckee) who invites an old friend Patrick (Rupert Everett) to her cottage on Sussex Coast. As he settles into a spare room in the cottage, Marion finds a 40-year-old diary in Patrick’s stuff that he had bought from the hospital. While Tom(Linus Roache), Marion’s husband makes every attempt not to confront Patrick.
The diary has details of a much younger Tom (Harry Styles) meeting Patrick (David Dawson) and their secret love affair that began before Tom and Marion (Emma Corrin) started dating and continued after their marriage.
The scenes going back and forth show the flashbacks of every character’s story. Their story in 1957 Brighton begins when a young Tom(Harry Styles) encounters Museum curator Patrick (David Dawson) which later turns into a love affair. At the time when Homosexuality was banned in England, Tom also starts dating Marion(Emma Corrin) a high school teacher at the time, who instantly falls for Tom.
Tom, his girlfriend Marion, and Patrick form a trio and share a series of summer adventures but when Tom and Marion get married, the love affair between Tom and Patrick slowly fades. The inevitable social, emotional, and sexual complications arise followed by a betrayal.
The sensitivity of the story is handled well by the characters, director Micheal Grandage and screenwriter Ron Nyswaner. The love scenes and affection between the two men are shot in a very sophisticated way. Tom and Marion are shown still unhappily married living in their cottage in Sussex.
Tom as a character is shown as very charming and eccentric and both Harry Styles and Linus Roache express that well while playing the character. Casting Pop-star and actor/ it-boy ‘Harry Styles’ can be a very beneficial move to the movie following the release of his other movie ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ which is also creating some buzz.
Additionally, Dawson bought some proactiveness and empathetic figure to the character ‘Patrick’. Also, Director Micheal Grandage subtly shows how the two men belong to different classes in society and hence the power imbalance between them.
Tom is shown as a working-class guy who drinks beer and falls asleep in classical recitals. However, Patrick is presented as a posh guy who drinks scotch and is an opera Connoisseur.
The one advantage Tom seems to have over Patrick is that he is protected by his uniform and his wife Marion. He cannot afford to mingle at clandestine watering holes as Patrick does, If he were to get caught in a raid his colleagues would have absolutely no chance of saving him.
The story is so era-appropriate and represents many homosexual men’s real-life situations. The delicacy with which the story is represented is impressive and heartwarming, it will immediately make you feel empathy for the characters.
Source: latimes.com, and rollingstone.com.