Don’t get me wrong. Interstellar is a magnificent film, true to the richest traditions of science fiction, visually and auditorily astounding. See past the necessary silliness and you will find a moving exploration of parenthood, separation and ageing.
Source: Interstellar: magnificent film, insane fantasy | George Monbiot | Comment is free | The Guardian

Could you please explain to me the phrase See past the necessary silliness. Does it mean that regardless of the necessary silliness (collateral damage) the movie is great?

  • It's not saying the movie is great, it's only asking you to ignore the necessary silliness and you will find... – Joe Dark Nov 15 '14 at 13:31

Look beyond the [men in rubber masks, lots of special effects] & you will find...

See past, in this sense, is 'ignore', 'look beyond', or 'in spite of'

Necessary silliness is explaining that this type of movie will always need this type of [rubber mask, special effects] because of its genre: Sci-Fi.

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It sounds like the writer believes that the movie makers were forced to make the movie ("necessary") a certain bad way ("silliness"). However, his overall opinion is that the movie is good, maybe even great ("moving"), and that he wants to make sure the reader understands that he thinks the movie is mostly good and only has a little bit of bad. He is afraid the reader will think that he thinks the movie is completely bad, and he wants to make it clear that that is not his opinion ("don't get me wrong", "see past").

As for the literal meaning of the sentence, it is being given as a command.

"See past the necessary silliness" means...

"You (the person that I'm talking to) need to SEE PAST the necessary silliness that the movie makers included in the movie."

"You (the person that I'm talking to) need to REALIZE that this movie has some bad (some silliness), but that the movie makers didn't have a choice about putting that into the movie (it was necessary)."

"You (the person that I'm talking to) need to BE OPEN MINDED about the fact that the movie makers were forced to include some bad parts."

Hope that answers your question. :D

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