Whenever books are adapted for the screen, changes are inevitable, and Amazon Prime my policeman is certainly no exception. The film adaptation of my policeman by Bethan Roberts follows the decades-long star-studded love triangle between Marion, Tom and Patrick, the latter embroiled in a forbidden mid-century British romance, and the former of which saw his marriage turned upside down when Patrick reenters their lives 40 years later. Although the film manages to capture the main plot lines of the book, My Police Officer leaves out many details of the original LGBTQ+ romance story.
Compared to many book-to-movie adaptations, the Amazon Prime Movie appears to be relatively faithful on the surface, as it manages to effectively capture the main events of the story. In many cases, the film manages to present details and events from the film, albeit slightly altered. Other changes end up having a much bigger impact on the overall story of my policeman. The film version of my policeman sacrificed many of the finer points of Bethan Roberts’ original book, both minor and major, from the details of the three main characters’ lives to the entire characters. As a result, it gives the film a slightly different atmosphere than Roberts’ novel. Here’s a breakdown of everything Amazon Prime my policeman the film changed from the book.
Marion and Tom’s relationship
In the film adaptation of my policeman, Marion (Emma Corrin) and Tom reunite at the beach as adults after Tom becomes a police officer and Marion is a teacher, but they have a bit more history together in the original book. At Bethan Roberts my policeman, Tom is the brother of Marion’s childhood best friend. Consequently, they had known each other for years before they began a romantic relationship, with Marion silently pining for Tom for much of the early parts of the novel. Although their dialogue in the film implies this detail, it is not explicitly clear, which makes the scene on the beach feel like they are meeting for the first time rather than having grown up with each other. others. As a result, the dynamic between the two characters seems more unknown than it was at this point in the LGBTQ+ romance book.
Marion’s role as a narrator
Although my policeman is clearly told through Marion’s point of view in both the book and the film, she actually tells the whole book in the form of a confessional letter to Patrick. In the book, this is how the reader learns about Marion’s life, personality, and feelings about the events that took place in the 1950s. The film takes a more show-don’t-tell approach, which generally works best for stories told using this medium. However, as a result, the film version of my policeman loses a lot of Marion’s backstory and thoughts, making her movie character less dynamic than in the original book.
Sylvie Burgess has a reduced role
Those who have only seen the my policeman The movie may not remember who Sylvie Burgess is, but she has a much bigger role in the book of the same name. Although Sylvie appears briefly in the film, she has a much larger role in the book as Marion’s childhood best friend. Sylvie is important in my policeman as a more outgoing foil for Marion, and her marriage to husband Roy is also a foil for Marion and Tom’s marriage.
Sylvie is not only Marion’s best friend, but also Tom’s sister, which makes her a doubly significant character in the my policeman book. The two have a stereotypically adversarial sibling relationship, but it’s still an important layer of the book’s story and gives a reason why Marion has been quietly pining for Tom for so long. Also, Sylvie is the first to voice her suspicions to Marion that Tom might be gay. Due to Sylvie’s reduced role in the my policeman film, there are also key events that are cut, such as Sylvie’s wedding. Since Sylvie is such an important character in the book, her absence is felt in the my policeman film.
Patrick looks healthier in the film
In both my policeman film and book, the impetus for Patrick to return to Marion and Tom’s life in the 1990s is when Marion takes in Patrick after he has a stroke. However, the severity of Patrick’s health issues and physical impairments are significantly altered in the film version of the story. In the original version my policeman book, Patrick is mostly quiet and has a much grimmer prognosis, with Marion being told not to expect Patrick to get much better. In the film, however, Patrick (played by David Dawson, who was also in Peaky Blinders season 1) is seen moving around the house in a wheelchair, and is well enough to campaign for Marion to give him her beloved cigarettes. While this makes Patrick a more interesting on-screen character, it takes away the impact of some important scenes from the book, such as when Patrick asks, “where is tom?”.
Other changes from the My Policeman book
Although my policeman features many changes from the book, not all of them significant enough to impact Amazon Prime’s ability to capture LGBTQ+ romance for the screen. An aspect that has changed since my policeman book is Tom and Marion’s swimming lessons, which led them to become close to each other in the book and the movie. However, rather than teaching Marion to swim in the ocean like in the book, Tom (played by Harry Styles) teaches Marion to swim in a pool in the film. Although a relatively benign change from the original book, it does remove an element of the story, as Marion receiving ocean swimming lessons from Tom is a metaphor for feeling out of control in their relationship.
Another book change occurs when Patrick discusses his past relationship before he began his romance with Tom. In the my policeman movie, Patrick informs Tom that his former partner, Michael, was beaten to death because of his sexuality. However, in the book, it is revealed that Michael died by suicide instead. Changing this detail in the film serves as an example of the dangers of being queer in 1950s Britain, which helps establish the setting and atmosphere of my policeman for viewers.
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