How My Policeman Movie Differs From Book – My Policeman Book vs. Movie – ELLE | Episode Movies

spoilers for those my cop Book and Movie below.

If you’re new to the 1950s romantic drama my cop Consider this article as “that movie with Harry Styles as a gay cop” a safe place. Indeed, British author Bethan Roberts’ 2012 novel – the film’s source material – owes most of its American readership to the pop star. Although it received quiet applause when it was first released in the UK, my cop flew so far under the radar that it wasn’t even released in the US until last year.

And the novel may have remained an obscure Girls Who Get It-type gem until September 2020 when Amazon announced its adaptation of Styles starring. (Styles was even photographed with the book earlier this year, and the novel hit TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.) The film’s existence — and Styles’ involvement in it — ignited a firestorm of interest in Roberts’ nearly decade-old book, and an American edition came out hitting shelves for the first time on August 3, 2021.

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If you don’t know, my cop follows a tragic love triangle in post-war Brighton: a young policeman named Tom Burgess (Styles) marries his sister’s childhood friend, Marion (Emma Corrin), a teacher – but his heart belongs to Patrick Hazelwood (David Dawson), a slightly older man who works as an art curator at the Heimatmuseum. Both the book and film jump back and forth between the 1950s, following the events at the heart of the story as they unfold, and Marion and Tom’s life as a retired couple in the 1990s. In the latter timeline, Patrick recently had a stroke and – against Tom’s objections – Marion got him out of the hospice to look after him at the Burgess house herself.

Even at a time when queer media has overcome the need for tragic stories from straight allies about secret love affairs, Roberts’ novel is a stunner. Told in hauntingly elegiac prose, my cop– the book – is a sad tale of how expectations of conformity harm us all. As Christopher Bollen puts it in his New York Times Review: “It’s Marion who is cast as an outsider and an intruder, and her desire for Tom is portrayed in a way that has traditionally been reserved for unrequited homosexual desires. … Meanwhile, Patrick, having fulfilling sex with Tom, entertains a more conventional fantasy, ‘like we’re — well, married.’”

How does the film compare to the book?

Unfortunately, while the film is a clear tribute to the passion and commitment of everyone involved in its making, it also leaves a lot to be desired as a film. It’s beautiful to look at, but it leaves the viewer cold despite playing a transparent game of manipulating the audience’s emotions. Ultimately, the film suffers from an overly literal adherence to the source material: in some respects it’s meticulous; At the same time, the screenplay eliminates or cuts out some “minor” subplots that have an outsized impact on the feel of the entire novel. As for the million-dollar question of Style’s performance, it turns out that the less he talks, the better off he is. That’s not a nod to the man’s acting skills — or at least it isn’t only an excavation – as much as an observation that Styles brings a magnetic kind of physicality to his role that is best left to stand on its own.

As for the changes the adaptation makes to Roberts’ original version of the story, many are minor: Tom gives Marion her swimming lessons in the local pool rather than in the ocean; Patrick confides in Tom that his ex-lover Michael was beaten to death by a mob, while in the book we learn that Michael committed suicide. But some changes are more significant than others. Here’s what die-hard fans of the book should know before watching the movie.

david dawson, emma corrin and harry styles star in my cop photo parisa taghizadeh © amazon content services llc

David Dawson as Patrick, Emma Corrin as Marion and Harry Styles as Tom in my cop

Parisa Taghizadeh/Courtesy of Prime Video

Marion and Tom’s youth

Both the film and the book begin in the 1990s before looking back at the pivotal events of the story. In the book, Marion first takes us back to her school days when she first became friends with Tom’s sister Sylvie and began to admire Tom from afar. As Marion grows up, she decides to become a teacher, setting her sights on Tom and plotting to get his attention. At the same time, Tom prepares for military service and ponders what to do with his life before finally deciding to become a police officer. Marion’s frequent visits to Tom and Sylvie also offer readers some insight into Tom’s early life and upbringing.

However, in the film, the earliest flashback occurs after Tom has already returned from the war. At this point, their identities are already established: he works as a police officer, Marion is a teacher, and they have known each other – if only marginally – since they were children.

Harry Styles and Emma Corrin stars in my cop photo courtesy of Prime Video © Amazon Content Services LLC

Courtesy of Prime Video

Marion’s friends

In the book, Marion is childhood friends with Tom’s little sister Sylvie, and Sylvie’s relationship with her future husband Roy stands in stark contrast to Marion and Tom’s marriage: where Marion works and never has children, Sylvie becomes a stay-at-home mother; where Tom proposes to Marion despite not being attracted to her, Roy has an active sexual relationship with Sylvie but refuses to marry her until she lies to him about her illegitimate pregnancy. Sylvie is also the first character to express suspicions that Tom might be interested in men. In contrast, Sylvie appears less than a minute throughout the film. In the scene where Tom agrees to give Marion swimming lessons, instead of implying that Tom might be gay, Sylvie tells Marion that Tom likes “busty women”. Though Sylvie isn’t a huge character in the book, her role as Marion’s foil feels so significant that it’s odd not to see her in the film.

Sylvie isn’t the only one of Marion’s friends who gets a raw deal. In the book, Marion befriends Julia, another teacher at the school she works at. Marion admires Julia’s independence and her colleague’s kindness becomes a lifeline for her – until Marion breaks their friendship by stating that she sees queerness as immoral and unnatural, prompting Julia to come out as a lesbian to Marion and their friendship to end. Marion’s regret at the end of her relationship with Julia is almost as significant as her conflicting feelings about her husband’s oddities.

Julia has several appearances in the adaptation (and her coming-out scene makes it into the film intact), but her role is so reduced that audiences don’t even get to know her name — and the aftermath of her argument with Marion doesn’t fit at all into history.

Patrick’s health

In the film, as in the book, Patrick comes to the Burgess home in the 1990s after suffering a stroke that severely affected his physical abilities. In the book he can hardly do anything but grunt and stare; The afternoon when Marion hears him calling for Tom is a pivotal moment because it’s the clearest communication Patrick has had since he arrived. Patrick is a lot more active in the film – and healthy enough to get Marion to let him smoke his beloved cigarettes. While his speech is still significantly impaired, he can verbalise what he wants to say well enough that Marion can and often does understand him. He can also move around the house alone in a wheelchair.

The prognosis for Patrick’s ongoing condition in the film is also significantly different than in the book. In the novel, Patrick’s doctor keeps telling Marion to accept the fact that he’s not getting better, that there’s no hope of recovery. In the adaptation, things are bleak but not hopeless: towards the end of the film, Marion states to Tom that Patrick is worse off, but she insists he still has a chance to get better if Tom is only for him shows up. In the final scene, when Tom puts his hand on Patrick’s shoulder, the audience is led to believe that maybe Tom can prevail for Patrick after all – and that the hapless lovers will finally get their happy endings.

gina mckee and rupert everett star in my cop photo parisa taghizadeh © amazon content services llc

Gina McKee and Rupert Everett as Marion and Patrick in the 1990s.

Parisa Taghizadeh/Courtesy of Prime Video

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