Alicia Veliz – Guest Writer

Have you ever wondered how certain things were invented or discovered? Who discovered it and how? And how thanks to these discoveries and sacrifices we have the technology and knowledge to use today? Well folks this one’s for you.

Radioactive is a biographical drama based on the life and work of Marie Curie.
Born in Warsaw, Poland in 1867 as Maria Salomea Sklodowska eventually became a naturalized French citizen. She was both a physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity (which is the word that she used to in fact name the theory of her research). Marie Curie actually discovered two chemical elements Polonium (named after her native country) and Radium.

She became the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice in two different scientific fields. Fun fact guys, did you know that The Curies have received a total of four Nobel prizes, the highest won by a single-family. They also have the unique distinction of having three Nobel-prize winning members in the family.

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Welcome to the new age, gentlemen. To the new age. Welcome to the new age. To the new age

The film uses flashbacks to a traumatising event in her childhood that affects the way she feels about hospitals for the rest of her life, and a lot of meshing with symbolic references to the foreshadowing of major events that occur in the future due to her discovery. I quite enjoyed these sequences to help us draw those important connections, and it ties in neatly without confusing the audience. However, there are a few inaccuracies in terms of the order or timing that a couple of events occur but it can be overlooked.

Actress Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl), who plays Curie, was an excellent choice.
The way she portrayed her was believable. The most brilliant scientists tend to be extremely eccentric, on the defensive all the time and possibly narcissistic. I mean, if I had those kinds of things bouncing around my brain on the daily, I might have been slightly off in the head for sure. She does a particularly good job at mixing those aspects of the personality with the more feminine side that loves her husband and children, but is also passionate about her work.

Unfortunately, due to prolonged exposure to radiation during her career, she died of aplastic anemia in 1934 at the age of 66. She also suffered from several radiation burns.

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Actress Rosamund Pike in a scene from the film

It is such a marvel to think about the great achievements of this lady which also include Brachytherapy which is used to treat certain types of cancer. Also extremely sad to know that her work was eventually manipulated and ended up being responsible for incidences of Radium poisoning, the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Manhattan Project, and the Chernobyl disaster. I suppose out of good sometimes also comes the bad.

This is an interesting watch and I hope that it would inspire you as much it did me to read up on her and the work that she did a bit more, and follow the trail of her career.

Rating: 7 out of 10

For my review of Cuban Cold War drama Wasp Network you can click here.