Beyond the obvious Imagine Dragons joke there’s a certain strain of very conventional biopic that this effort starring Rosmond Pike as radiography pioneer Marie Curie falls into nicely. Ernest and well performed (Pike is excellent in the central role)but offering nothing audiences won’t have seen before if they have seen any number of the kind of drama. These films fill middlebrow cinema screens on weekday afternoons before turning up in reruns on ITV3 for years Sign Riley office solid support at husband and fellow pioneer Pierre but as with Pike his performance feels constrained by the genre and tone of the film he is in. Anya Taylor joy turns up and gets nothing to do as one of their daughters .
This roughly about 80 minutes of conventional biopic material in the final edit. The remaining 25 minutes is taken up by a number of small sequences showing the impact of radiation on future world events .The reference points are obvious (cancer treatment, Hiroshima and Nakasaki ,Chernobyl and others )but they come across as filler and the kind of thing the teachers would attempt to show in a secondary school history class to try and get students to engage with the pioneering nature of the Curies work. Unfortunately, the drama isn’t compelling enough to engage anyone beyond middle aged wine mums and grandmas.
Radioactive is exactly the sort of film that gets imagined when audiences think of the conventional British biopic. It’s far from the worst thing ever (Pike and Riley’s performances give it some value ) but it’s the sort of middle of the road fare that will be easily forgotten by the majority of viewers as soon as the credits roll .