Lights, Camera, Man-on-Man Action w/ Harry Styles

Written by | The Lens

Love defies convention. When two people become soulmates, no amount of public shame can extinguish their passion. That said: gay romance has been forbidden for the vast majority of the civilized era. Queer partnership was shunned or even criminalized for the bulk of human history, and this hateful atmosphere is still a dangerous reality for millions of LGBTQ+ individuals around the world.

My Policeman tackles the topic of closeted desire head-on. The film stars Harry Styles in the title role, an officer who falls for a gentleman during the oppressive confines of 1950s England. Tom and Patrick are destined to be together, but the rest of society disagrees. These lovers are hopelessly star-crossed, so Tom marries a woman named Marion instead.

Fast-forward to the 1990s. Patrick reemerges in Tom’s life, weary from age and in need of compassion, of which Marion has little. The narrative hinges on the tension between a marriage of convenience and a yearning for acceptance. By juxtaposing two vastly different eras, My Policeman underscores the cruelty of chronology. How many loving couples were denied the opportunity to exist openly, simply because of the era into which they were born?

The casting of Harry Styles helps drive this central point home, adding a present-day layer to the period proceedings. He is, after all, a symbol of his generation and an inspiration for the queer and questioning youth of today. Styles gleefully embraces the progressive attitudes of the here and now, asserting his fluidity in a series of interviews. For example, the charismatic pop star rhetorically asks The Guardian, “Am I sprinkling in nuggets of sexual ambiguity to try and be more interesting? No.”

Harry’s dreamy silhouette was made for the big screen, and we can’t wait to see how his aesthetic translates into My Policeman.  “I want things to look a certain way,” Styles admits. “Not because it makes me look gay, or it makes me look straight, or it makes me look bisexual, but because I think it looks cool.”

Now that is an understatement for the ages.


Last modified: March 15, 2021