Director: Pavan Kaul
Producer: Kaveeta Oberoi Kaul
Actors: Victor Banerjee, Leonidas Gulaptis
– Rashmi Rawat
James Donald Walter, who was born in Romania, grew up unlike other boys his age; money and materialistic possessions did not interest him. He wanted to touch people’s lives. At the age of 22, he moved to America in a quest to find meaning in life, a childhood pursuit that he grew up with. And life took him straight at the feet of Paramhansa Yogananda.
The film The Answer is the life story of the same young boy who later came to be known as Swami Kriyananda, Yogananda’s direct disciple and the founder of Ananda, a worldwide movement of spiritual intentional communities based on the Master’s vision of creating world brotherhood colonies. The movie beautifully traces Walter’s struggle to find out his purpose in this materialistic world. He wanted to touch people’s lives through empathy, affection, and humility, and live for love, not money. The question ‘how?’ forms the narrative of this spiritual saga.
Once, while gazing at the books in a bookstore, he came across Yogananda’s best-selling masterpiece, Autobiography of a Yogi. At first glance, he looked past it, but since this was destined to be a life-changing moment for him, Walter’s inner voice encouraged him to riffle through the pages. While reading, he found himself connecting deeply with the author. Tremendously inspired by the deeply spiritual contents of the book, he decided to renounce the worldly life and embark upon a spiritual journey.
The film powerfully etches out a young Walter’s angst to find the purpose of life. The purity of his heart and the sincerity of his intentions is portrayed beautifully by the lead actor Victor Gulaptis who emotes convincingly with his eyes. Victor Banerjee, who plays Paramhansa Yogananda, has injected life into the challenging role of portraying a spiritual guru. Not even in a single frame does he appear any less than the realised Master himself. The movie is powerful enough to stoke the embers of spiritual seeking in an ordinary viewer. It makes the viewers want to be Walter himself and dedicate their lives to seeking what is true, pure, and sacred in life. The movie has the vibrations of the gurus that leaves the viewer with the realisation that we are none but the pure essence of God Himself.
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