‘Kate’: Everything You Need to Know About the Polonium-204 Poison Used in the New Netflix Movie

Netflix‘s current number one ranking film is Kate. The Huntsman: Winter’s War‘s Cedric Nicolas-Troyan directs a screenplay written by Umair Aleem. Netflix has been successful with its over-the-top action flicks with titles including the Charlize Theron-starring picture The Old Guard. Kate includes a Polonium-204 poison-inflicted assassin with a timer on her mission. However, the poison exists in real life.

‘Kate’ is Netflix’s new assassin action movie

Netflix’s newest action movie Kate follows a female assassin (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). Varrick (Woody Harrelson) tasks the title character with killing a high-ranking yakuza boss. However, Kate gets poisoned with polonium-204. Now, she has only 24 hours to settle her affairs. Kate decides to spend her final hours discovering who set her up and getting her revenge.

Kate realizes that the poison is going to have an effect on her body on her journey for revenge. As a result, she chooses to use stimulants to keep her body moving to complete her mission. Kate brings a young girl named Ani (Miku Patricia Martineau) along with her, who she believes can help her track down who set her up.

Polonium-204 poison is a real thing

'Kate' star Mary Elizabeth Winstead smoking
Mary Elizabeth Winstead | Netflix

Men’s Health explained that Polonium-204 is a real poison. Marie and Pierre Curie discovered polonium in 1898. It’s a radioactive material that can be found naturally in the world. It’s noted that this particular element isn’t transmittable and is only be dangerous when ingested or put into an open wound.

Polonium has the chance of causing cancer if it’s taken in huge doses. Kate is given a large dose, which would indicate why she’s facing death in the near future. Her doctor tells her that she has acute radiation sickness (ARS), which results in, “skin burns, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and hair loss in addition to other not very fun symptoms. Apparently, exposure at that level is like taking at least 18,000 x-rays.”

However, there is a cure for Polonium-204, but there’s a better chance of recovery if the individual has a lower level of ARS. The biggest risk, in this case, is how the poison will break down the individual’s bone marrow. As a result, the individual could suffer from infections and internal bleeding. Men’s Health states that treatment focuses on “reducing and treating infections, maintaining hydration, and treating injuries and burns. Some patients may benefit from treatments that help the bone marrow recover its function.” Kate’s likelihood of survival was very low.

Poison in film

The poisoning of a human character in movies is typically used as a plot device or a pivotal moment in a character’s fate. Of course, the poisoning in Hamlet and the poisonous apple in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs are a couple of the most iconic instances of poisoning.

Kate uses Polonium-204 as a significant plot device that puts a timer on the title character’s journey. It also adds to the sheer insanity that is Netflix’s new action flick. However, Polonium-204 has roots in reality that could truly be lethal.

Kate is available now to stream on Netflix.

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