I’m going to spoil this from the start: GO SEE THIS FILM NOW.
There has (and will continue to be) many, many things written analysing the amazing story told by both of these works, and I don’t feel the need to add my terribly uninformed opinion to the flow.
What I do feel the need to do is point out how visually and emotionally spectacular this movie is. I can’t think of anything else that’s touched me on so many levels for a very long time. The depiction of every moment has been artfully crafted to bring the story to life.
I learnt some new ways to think about the religion, I was left with things to think for and about myself, I experienced this boy’s pain and happiness, and then met the man who he grew to be. Truly beautiful.
If you get the chance, see it in the cinema. 2D or 3D, either way would be fine. For the classic haters of “3D for the sake of it” - this is not one of those films. I saw it at my local Dendy cinema where they use IR-modulated active goggles and the 3D was used to enhance the storytelling, not just throw things at your face. The amazing part of every effect in this film is that you don’t think of them as effects, just that they are the reality of the characters.
Take tissues, you’ll likely need them - or the person next to you will. Even if he’s a 6'9″ tall guy like me, who was crying from the pain of the emotional and spiritual turmoil the main character feels in more than one point.
There’s not much more to say about it, other than I’m inspired to read the book - and I hope that you go see this film.