Movie Review – Take Home Pay

TL;DR – A look at what happens when the competing interests of money and family collide

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Take Home Pay. Image Credit: M2S1 Films.


Today we get to dive back into the world of Pasifika Cinema as we explore a film that takes on themes like tradition v modernity, brother v brother, money v family, and honour v fun. However, all of this is tempered by a comedic style that is unique to this part of the world and a heart that just shines.

So to set the scene, Popo (Ronnie Taulafo) and Alama (Vito Vito) are brothers living in rural Samoa working for their father planting, harvesting, and selling taro. Alama dreams of ways to make things easier for his family, even if it does not always go right, and Popo just dreams of getting out of the country. Well that opportunity arrives when they need labourers in New Zealand and both Alama and Popo get the chance to earn some more money for home. They spend their days picking kiwifruit and all is going well until the day they have to leave and Popo runs off, with both his and all of Alama’s money.

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Movie Review – Three Wise Cousins

TL;DR – It is a film that treads over very familiar ground, the ‘fish out of water’ scenario, however, it has a sense of humour and identity that elevates it above many of its contemporaries.

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Three Wise Cousins. Image Credit: Madman.


This is an interesting little film, I didn’t really know anything about it going in and had not seen a single trailer, so I was intrigued to see how it would end up. Three Wise Cousins tells the story of Adam (Neil Amituanai) who lives in suburban Auckland with his parents and is doing pretty much nothing other than playing his PlayStation and sleep. One day he stumbles across the woman of his dreams Mary (Gloria Ofa Blake) and overhears that she is only interested in island boys. So Adam decides to drop everything and visit his cousins Tavita (Fesuiai Viliamu) and Mose (Vito Vito) in Samoa to learn how to be an island boy so he can impress Mary. Of course, once Adam gets there he finds out it is more than he bargained on as Mose and Tavita play a kind of good cop, bad cop, to get Adam to … well then that is the crux of the film so I won’t spoil it here.

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