Pop phenomenon Harry Styles’ style includes gender fluidity, perfectly suited to his new movie My Policeman. Styles plays Tom, a 1950s British cop who hides his love for another man by marrying a schoolteacher. Moving back and forth between the closeted Fifties and more open 1990s, the project uses period props and costumes to good effect under direction by Michael Grandage. The flashback time switch provides roles for six actors, the younger trio and their older counterparts. All give solid, emotional performances, from the lesser
-known Gina McKee, Linus Roache, and David Dawson to Styles, Rupert Everett, and Emma Corwin, familiar as Princess Diana for an award-winning turn in The Crown. Styles and Corwin serve as the movie’s drawing point for a younger audience who may not remember the days when same sex relationships put people in prison. Viewers benefit if they missed 2005’s Brokeback Mountain, which features many of the same plot components with stronger emotional resonance and consistency, My Policeman pales in comparison. Lacking any surprises, My Policeman relies strongly on its good looks, from cast to locations in England’s Brighton Beach. A cultural component comes from the community’s museum, with time spent appreciating paintings by Turner and Blake, along with a few musical concerts and some opera. Sadly, all that class only proves window dressing for a project that—unlike star Styles--lacks spark and originality.