We discuss the ending of the Prime Video film My Policeman, which will contain spoilers. Who wrote the letter outing Patrick? Let’s dive in.
My Policeman follows the story of broken hearts, broken minds, and broken lives. In 1950s England, Tom Burgess (Harry Styles), a police officer on patrol, meets a dashing museum curator, Patrick Hazlewood (All the Old Knives‘ David Dawson). At the same time, Burgess has been courting Marion (The Crown’s Emma Corrin), and they will get married. Marion is concerned, however, since Tom is never affectionate with her.
The film toggles back between the fifties and the 1990s. Years later, older adult Marion (Phantom Thread’s Gina McKee) brings a weathered Patrick (My Best Friend’s Wedding’s Rupert Everett) into their home because he is sick and can no longer care for himself. Except, for some reason, a now 60-year-old Tom (The Wings of the Dove’s Linus Roache) wants nothing to do with him. What happened between them? Since, as the story goes, Tom marries Marion, what is his issue since he obviously chose her over his former lover? The plot device is Marion reading Patrick’s old journal in the present time, back when they were in their twenties.
The reason is that being a gay person was illegal during that period. (How many of you remember the tragic end to Morten Tyldum’s The Imitation Game?). Tom is a young police officer with a career to think of, but their attraction and connection are too much to overcome. Even if Tom is married to Marion and she wants a family soon. However, even Marion has suspicions about their relationship. One night when Patrick shows up unannounced to cook them dinner at their countryside home, Tom gets upset with Patrick. It’s the kind of anger that comes from a passionate courtship. The following day, Marion catches them kissing and hugging in the barn on their property.
Marion is upset, understandably, but chooses to help Tom by taking him upstairs to have sex. Even after her best efforts, Marion cannot shake the feeling that Tom and Patrick are in love. Then, when Patrick approaches Marion about taking Tom to Venice to be his assistant, she has had enough. She confronts Tom, who denies it and calls his wife irrational. When they return, Patrick is arrested because someone with knowledge of his personal life wrote his workplace.
My Policeman ending explained – who wrote the letter outing Patrick?
Who wrote the letter outing Patrick? And what was in it? An accusation he was a gay person and that he should not be around children. Even though Marion testified on his behalf at his trial, it comes out Tom may be his lover. Marion’s husband loses her job, and Patrick goes to jail, beaten daily for two years. Marion confronts Tom about not visiting Patrick in prison. Tom says he wants nothing to do with him and to “be” with Marion.
The film ends with the older Tom crying in his car when he sees a young gay person in the store. Marion tells Tom that she is leaving him because she spent so much time tending to Tom and being his beard she forgot to care about herself. Tom begs her not to leave him, partially because he cannot be alone. Marion then admits she wrote the letter to the museum because she felt betrayed and as if her husband were taunting her with postcards from Italy. The final scenes show Marion leaving and catching a cab to reintroduce herself to the world while Tom finally goes into Patrick’s room and puts a hand on his shoulder.
Patrick reaches back and holds the hand of his former lover on his shoulder.
Being gay in England was illegal until The Sexual Offences Act of 1967. This law allowed “homosexual” acts between two consenting adults over the age of twenty-one. Before this Act, men and women were forced to live their lives in secret. (The Prime Video Series A League of Their Own almost deals exclusively with the subject in 1940s America). If you were caught, you could spend time in prison or choose the option of chemical castration. The latter involved injections that reduced a gay person’s libido. This chemical was synthetic estrogen.
The result caused lives to be ruined and for people to not live their own truth, which is a popular thought process today. It certainly was not in the fifties nor when the movie takes place in the nineties. The film’s point is that you only get one life, and living it for other people is no way to live at all.
What did you think of the ending of My Policeman? Comment below.