I wish I was clever enough to get all the symbolism of this movie!
Dev Patel is consistently one of the best British actors of the modern age. He doesn't just carry this film - he elevates it. Usually I'd tire of an actor being in every single shot, but he has this gift of remaining interesting and allowing the focus to flow to the other characters.
It feels like the sort of movie that Terry Gilliam would make - if he could be persuaded to reign in the excess. Or Quentin Tarintino if he could tone down the violence. It oozes style. The whole film is gorgeous - stunning use of scenery and lighting. What could have been epic helicopter shots of wild woods are, thankfully, close and intimate shots of participants of this tale.
On the one hand, it is a simple story - and it can absolutely be watched and enjoyed as just a knight going on a quest. On the other... where to begin?! What is honour? What are you prepared to sacrifice in order to achieve your dreams? Does the nobility have a responsibility to those "below" them? What can you demand of the dead? Is it chivalrous to expect a reward? Is chivalry relevant to the modern world? Should parents intercede in their children's fate and fortune? How much are you changed by the people you meet?
It is almost a mystic experience. And well worth watching.