by Gary Johnson
Director David Atkins knows dentistry. At least he should. His father is a dentist. And his two brothers are dentists. But somehow Atkins avoided the lure of dentistry himself. With his new movie, Novocaine, he has made amends (of a sort) for this parting of ways with the family profession. Dentistry plays a key role both in terms of setting and characterizations, as well as the storytelling technique: every now and then the movie screen turns into a jittering, strobing dental x-ray with voice-over narration that focuses on the growing decay -- a reflection of the lead character's state of mind. "Lying is a lot like tooth decay … one small lie and everything unravels from there," says dentist Frank Sangster.
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