Despite lukewarm critic’s reviews of the time, Sione’s Wedding has aged surprisingly well. It deals with plotlines still relevant today, cementing itself as a New Zealand classic. Michael (Robbie Magasiva), deals with fetishisation. Stanley (Iaheto Ah Hi) has a virtual dating plot decades ahead of its time. Albert (Oscar Kightley) learns to step out of his comfort zone, and Sefa (Shimpal Lelisi) confronts his drinking problem to reconcile with his girlfriend, Leilani (Teuila Blakely).
And the outfits have aged just as well. Costume designer Jane Holland, of Xena: Warrior Princess fame, was nominated for Best Achievement in Costume Design at the 2006 New Zealand Screen awards for Sione’s Wedding, and it’s obvious why from the first scene. In the background, girls dressed in white make an angelic contrast to the boys in rumpled black suits, stepping out into the morning light and adjusting their skinny Matrix-esque shades.Traditional Samoan dress and patterns are incorporated throughout, sometimes symbolically. Michael is in a brightly patterned lavalava when they’re called to the Minister’s office, which serves to remind the audience of the family ties Michael has at stake—he risks being barred from his own brother’s wedding.
From Stan’s J-Lo-esque fantasy of Latifah in a white crop top to Derek’s wanna-be gangsta chains, the costumes truly suck you into the riotous world of the Duckrockers.