Standout performances to me, first by the Mute with his reflective silences, who fights his inner struggle and gives extra breath to this story. Second, by snarly Sir Raymond (RA) who should offer the monks protection with his crusaders from Normandy, then turns out to steal the relic feeling the church can wait. Doing Crusades and making allies is more important. Grognements ensured!
This movie answers reflectively by showing actions and motives on the question: 'Is it worth it to give a relic this amount of cultural and religious value?'. It cleverly ends on the question: 'Where to go now?'. After almost every main character gets finished off and the relic is being baptized into the sea forever, viewers can fill in for themselves: 'Back to the monastery with empty hands or to continue with another rock?'.
I wish I could have fathomed the spiritual depth when I came into contact with mediaeval relics on an Italian visit years ago. Although it was more like a close encounter with perishableness, Especially, because one relic was the thybone of a priest wrapped in a shiny pink ribbon, nicely kept in a glass box with golden edges, and another relic was a shriveled, darkened woman's hand in a tiny box, electronically lit up in a old, serene chapel, duefully guarded by a voluntering church member.
The story in the movie could very well represent many relic travelling stories. Indeed a Saint Matthias existed who got stoned, of which the stone as relic was brought to Rome and ended up in a German church 'for better use', to collect sums for church and political purposes.
Quote (not in this film):
Reflective story, great acting (esp. the Mute), mind the gore.