In the two-minute clip, viewers are introduced to the excruciating love triangle between Styles, Corrin and David Dawson. It’s a feast for the eyes, with the gorgeous actors in late Fifties get up, hair blowing in the wind on Brighton beach, shots of vintage cars, country roads, and crashing waves – but the romantic tension is building from the get-go.
First, the trailer shows the relationship blooming between Styles and Corrin and then moves to the love affair between Styles and Dawson. Everyone, it seems, is unhappy.
The trailer flashes forward to the modern day, as the older versions of the characters reflect on the tempestuous relationships. Then there’s a compilation of past and present: fights, secret hand touching at the cinema, cuddles in bed and more distressed faces.
My Policeman, which is based on Bethan Roberts’ 2012 romance novel of the same name, tells the tale of a closeted gay officer in 1957, navigating life in a time when it was illegal (homosexuality was made legal in the UK a decade later).
Two stories run parallel to one another. The first is set in Brighton in the Fifties. Officer Tom Burgess, who is played by Styles, begins to date teacher Marion, but has an affair with male museum curator Patrick. As could probably be predicted, things get incredibly messy – made worse by the stifling British society in which they live.
The second is set in the Nineties. Tom (now played by Linus Roache), Marion (Gina McKee), and Patrick (Rupert Everett) try to repair some of the damage they made to their relationships in the earlier years of their life.
My Policeman is directed by ex-Donmar Warehouse Artistic Director Michael Grandage, and its script has been written by Oscar-nominated Ron Nyswaner. Nyswaner, who wrote the screenplay for Philadelphia, is known for his work on gay rights films, including Soldier’s Girl and The Celluloid Closet.
The film has taken eight years to get made, but has been a labour of love for those involved.
In an interview with Vanity Fair, producer Robbie Rogers said: “I won’t be specific [with names]… but I think for the last eight years, we’ve always heard the most political versions of ‘this is going to be difficult to make’ or ‘no one’s going to watch this.’”
But now it looks like My Policeman is going to be a major hit, starring Britain’s best rising stars – if we can call Styles that. The singer acted in Christopher Nolan’s 2017 Dunkirk and in Marvel Universe’s 2021 Eternals, but has two major roles in films out this year. The first is in My Policeman, and the second is Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling, where Styles plays opposite Florence Pugh.
Don’t Worry Darling has been making waves at Venice Film Festival this week for all the wrong reasons. Yesterday eagle-eyed spectators on the internet accused Styles of spitting on co-star Chris Pine (Pine vehemently denied this happened), while Pugh and Wilde are allegedly feuding.
My Policeman will be released on October 21 on Prime Video