The play in the opening scene appears to be a dramatization of the novel 'The Brothers Karamazov'. Smerdyakov tells Ivan Karamazov that he has murdered Fyodor, inspired by the philosophy he learned from Karamazov. Smerdyakov's suicide monologue is adapted from the diaries of the monk, Father Zossima.
More instances that mirror the life of Christ as recorded in the Gospels: - Daniel recruits actors to work with him similar to the way Jesus recruited his disciples. The first, Constance, is found working charitably in a soup kitchen, and Daniel says simply, "I came for you." - The judge (like Pilate) sends Daniel to a second-opinion person (the psychologist is like Herod) who finds nothing wrong with him and sends him back to the judge/Pilate. - Daniel's organs enabled a blind person to see and saved a man's life with his transplanted heart, similar to Jesus's miracles.
When Daniel coaches the players at the first rehearsal, he tells them " Beget a temperance". Rene continues "..in the whirlwind of passion". They are quoting from Hamlet Act 2 Sc 2, when Hamlet instructs the players on how to perform the upcoming play-within-a-play. Earlier, Rene had asked Daniel if he could deliver Hamlet's "To be or not to be" soliloquy in the production. (He did).
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
The film tracks the life of Christ in several specific ways: -The actor at the beginning, praised for his performance, turns and says that Daniel is a much better actor. This is a reference to John the Baptist as the herald of Christ. -A female producer says she wants the same actor's head for her magazine, a reference to Herod wanting John the Baptist dead. His head then appears in a poster ad in a subway where Daniel dies. -Daniel overturns the equipment at the commercial shoot, a reference to Christ's cleansing of the temple. -Daniel is arrested and the indecisive judge cannot find anything wrong with him, a reference to Pilate's judgment. -A lawyer plans great things for Daniel and shows him the world from a skyscraper, a reference to the temptation in the desert. -After Daniel dies, his organs are transplanted into 3 different people, a reference to Christ as the redeemer.