After the film "Anna's Life" it became clear that the story told in it would have a continuation. Today, Nino Basilia’s film and two subsequent works - "Person No. 2" and "Chemical Wedding" can be considered a film trilogy, and not only because the same actors participate in them.
Playwright, director, writer, Nino Basilia's novel "Plastic Nerve" has this inscription: "female novel." Accordingly, this film trilogy is also about the female gender, specifically "Person No. 2" (2020), if we use a paraphrase, is a "female film." It reminded me of my favorite play, “The Voice of Man” by Jean Cocteau, which at various times starred the world's greatest actresses, including Anna Magnani and Ingrid Bergman. Sofiko Chiaureli and Nineli Chankvetadze created the unforgettable images of this play here, in Georgia. Nino Basilia's film is connected with "The Voice of Man" with "Theatre of One Actor."
Nine "one-actor theaters" - this is how the performance of the nine actresses whose monologues and confessions we listen and watch can be evaluated in this film. Actors of different generations, ages and image are represented in it: Lamzira Chkheidze, Tatuli Dolidze, Darejan Kharshiladze, Ekaterine Demetradze, Nana Butkhuzi, Ana Nikolashvili, Ana Imnadze, Ana-Maria Gurgenishvili, Ana Javakhishvili.
Someone may remember "acting cinema" in connection with this film, but I think this term is so contradictory that it even distracts from the meaning of dramaturgy, direction, fine arts, etc.
The director Nino Basilia has meticulously calculated every movement in the frame, every word (although it seems more like improvisation), but she is sometimes not "obeyed" by the writer and playwright, Nino Basilia, in order to shorten the text and make a point a little earlier. This is the reason for the excessive fascination with "negative shots," but here it should also be said that the alternation of in-frame and out-of-frame conversations, silent shots (preparing the actors for shooting, make-up), the outside world, nature panoramas, etc. It is perceived as one complementary whole (cameramen- Teimuraz Gabashvili and Gela Chinchaladze).
Nino Basilia created this work based on the principle of a TV movie, although the female characters’ images on the big screen are very effective, but when you watch it on the TV screen, it is clear how it "adapted" to the "small screen," how the intimacy was created when only you are spoken to from the TV screen, and you are alone with the movie characters.
There is no close-up in the performance. The main field of the actors participating in this film is the theater, in the cinema they were given the luxury of working in close-up. They met this luxury with exceptional skill and talent. I have never seen such Tatuli Dolidze, her exciting monologue about love, eight more extraordinary actresses who are "loved by the camera."
Who could these female characters be? what do they want? What do they think? What are they like? This is answered in one of the dialogues of "Plastic Nerve":
"I - you seem to eat women...
Iva - no, some people don't eat them, even if you put some rose petals on them; some hurt and are not good for health; Some are like McDonald's - hop-hop and you're still hungry; some are very hot and will burn you; some are so ordinary that you'll lose your appetite if you're hungry; some are so delicious that you will regret it; Some will eat you up!"
Lana Ghoghoberidze, chairman of the jury of the Batumi International Film Festival, " BIAFF," wrote in her book "To Whom Does the Thrush Sing”: "We awarded the special prize of the jury to the young Georgian film director, Nino Basilia, and I am very excited about it, because "Persona No. 2" is a bold directorial application, in a good way, an experiment, a daring attempt to screen the thoughts of nine women."
The director of the film herself claims that she never thought about a film trilogy and could not even imagine that she would be given the opportunity to do so. In filmmaking, it's hard to predict what you're going to shoot, or whether you're going to shoot anything at all. As it turns out, after "Anna’s Life", a foreign film critic told her that he saw this social drama as the first film of a trilogy. This is what led to the making of the movie trilogy. That is why the team of actors is almost unchanged in order to be united in one structure, one fabric.
The name of the film has a peculiar explanation - Persona No. 1 talks to Persona No. 2. As the well-known psychotherapist, Carl Gustav Jung noted: No. 1 is ourselves, and No. 2 is our alter ego, our own second self, which, by realizing it and, subsequently, in the process of dialogue with it, it is possible to refine oneself. The audience experiences this metamorphosis along with the characters, and that was the goal. The questions asked in the film directly or indirectly affect the audience's sensory system.
In the 2000s, Nino Basilia staged several plays on various stages. This practice introduced and showed many actors, both from a human and professional point of view, and gave a great opportunity to choose for cinema. The good thing about working with professionals is that you don't have to spend a lot of time shooting the scenes, and they don't spend much time themselves. When everyone knows their job well, work is pleasant. They trust you and you trust them too. Relationships are certain, they are arranged and they treat each other with respect, and this creates a comfortable environment on the set.
The director was surprised by Lamzira Chkheidze's personal qualities, airiness, tenderness, strong character and, most importantly, professionalism. It turns out that she was happy to be photographed like a child. When she read the monologue in the final scene, she told the director right after the end, I think it's written about me and I'm playing myself, because I think exactly the same way and feel the same.
For Nino Basilia, filmmaking includes dramaturgy, writing and much more. This is a universal profession, which also requires life experience with its ups and downs and, most importantly, a constant thirst for learning new things. It is a constant search, and dramaturgy and writing are excellent experiences for refining mastery. Moreover, when you are both the scriptwriter and the director, this allows for unlimited freedom and a thousand maneuvers, and freedom is the most essential thing for a director of an author's film.