A review of the new film “Radioactive”

When was the last time that you saw a film devoted to the life of a distinguished female scientist? Exactly. And how many movies do you see directed by a woman? Far too few.

We need more stories about women told by women, so this bio-pic of Polish-French physicist/chemist Marie Curie, directed by the Iranian Marjane Satrapi (best known for “Perspolis”), is welcome and worthy but, as a piece of cinema, does not really work.

Curie was a remarkable person: the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She is portrayed by one-time Bond girl and “Gone Girl” British actress Rosamund Pike in feisty style.

The main problem is the script from Jack Thorne who normally writes for television. The narrative is rather dull and there are odd flashforwards to incidents such as the bombing of Hiroshoma and the explosion at Chernobyl which – while related to radioactivity, a word coined by Curie incidentally – have nothing to do with her. 

In fact, “Radioactive” never made it to the cinema. Its release was caught by the coronavirus lockdown. But, of course, you can access it online.


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