LAGUNA HILLS, CA: The Laguna Hills Mall Cinema was abuzz on Apr.11 morning with special invitees of Chinmaya Mission Los Angeles gathering for the premiere of the much-awaited ‘On A Quest’ – a movie on the life of the master, Swami Chinmayananda. The screening got support from several like-minded...
The two-hour movie detailed the journey of a young Balakrishna Menon from an atheist to spiritual master. The movie shifted focus at a fast pace unfolding different facets of the life of young Menon from curious child to fiery student union leader to a thinking journalist who believes that “India is free, but, not Indians.” An atheist, he set off to Rishikesh to meet the orange clad saying, “Religion is the opium of the masses- I’m going to expose those drug –peddlers.”
His meeting with the great master Swami Sivanananda, and receiving the answer to his question, “Why is there so much evil and injustice around? If this is the best that God can do; then I’m not impressed,” set the tone of the changes he is about to embark on deepening his quest in a different direction.
The movie was filled with credible punch lines and despite the fast changing pace retained continuity in narrative. Siddhartha Nuni, the cinematographer who has worked on movies as ‘Life of Pi’ and ‘Lucia’ with his masterful picturesque strokes of Siddhbari and the pre freedom Lucknow debunks the myth that biopics are boring. Director R.S Prasanna’s casting of actors of the young and old Swami Chinmayananda was brilliant allowing the audience to forget that it was a story that was being retold and not the spiritual leader himself. The movie concluded with the current head Swami Tejomayananda advising a seeker, “Start walking and the path will appear.” One of the more moving moments is when he answers to the questions “How do feel walking in his (Swami Chinmayananda’s) shoes?” Smiling with humility that would bring tears and shame at that we take pride in, Swami Tejomayananda responds, “I am not in his shoes, but at his feet.”
The audience came out with emotions ranging from appreciation to a quest to know more. For further screenings: www.cmla.org