Heard of the movie long time ago, and read the book a few years ago. I liked the book a lot–surprisingly, given my attitude towards religion. The book is all about human spirituality, not some lies and miracles cooked up by various people for various purposes. I’m not against spirituality at all, actually I’m all for it–I think it’s one of the fundamental things, if not the only thing, that makes us human. And I would very much tend to believe that Jesus was a real person who lived in the way (not the specific events but in the spirit of them) as the book described.
BTW I always find the beginning of Snatch pretty funny (the whole movie is a riot), where Franky 4 Fingers told the story of a mistranslation (or deliberately) from “maiden” in Hebrew to “virgin” in Greek.
I watched the movie last night after recording it a while ago. I don’t remember all the details in the book, but it feels like a pretty faithful adaptation. It’s ridiculous and ironic that the movie caused an uproar in Christians. Same for the Islam world to get crazy over some cartoons. Is irony and tolerance and self-criticism that hard?!
I remember that the biggest surprise from the book was Judas as a patriotic and strong-willed man and Jesus’ closest disciple, whose “betrayal” was ordered by Jesus himself to fulfill God’s instruction. It’s pretty amazing that the Gospel of Judas found later corroborates that idea. Harvey Keitel (kuh-taal) has the right looks, but I feel all his characters (Thelma & Louise, The Piano) are monotonic, expressionless, and simple-minded.