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Film Review: “Radioactive” (2019) ★★★


How much do we know about X-rays or chemotherapies? Polonium or radium? We know that all these discoveries happened because of Marie Curie’s work. But how much do we know about the background story which led to such revolutionary discoveries? Based on Lauren Redniss’ award-winning graphic novel, director Marjane Satrapi’s biopic is about the two-time Nobel Prize-winning scientist Marie Curie and her groundbreaking findings with her husband Pierre, which will crown her as the only person ever to win the Nobel Prize in two different fields – physics and chemistry.

Maria Sklodowska, a 24 year-old woman lands in Paris. She has a fine mind, is curious enough and impatient with those who are not as persistent as herself. When her request of having her own lab is rejected and all the equipment is moved away, help comes through the like-minded Pierre Curie, who offers her to use his equipments for her research, to which she gladly agrees. Shortly after, their partnership will bring them closer to each other as she discovers previously unknown elements – radium and polonium, which in the future will be used for X-rays and chemotherapy, and of course in nuclear plants.

The film continues exploring the extraordinary life of Marie Curie, her intelligence, and how the radioactive elements affected her and her family. It also highlights her struggles of being acknowledged before and after she became a Curie. But it was her determination and strong personality that did not let circumstances take over her, in which she eventually will prove the scientific world not only her importance but her contribution as well. And just for that, “Radioactive” must surely be seen.

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