Francine wants to marry Rocco. Before she does this, though, she wants Father McFarlan’s blessing, but she has difficulties in making Rocco collaborate with the Father as a spiritual guide to their marriage.
A versed determined father connected to the mafia of considerable earthly wisdom, an idealist and somewhat naive young mobster daughter and an impertinent young man, of course, a mobster himself, meet in this short love-comedy with action films valencies putting together a much delightful show: ‘Pasquale’s Magic Veal’ by D.J. Higgins. Already part of an agitated world and a doubtful entourage, Francine is looking for a settled life after marriage but she has troubles seeing the obvious truth: her future husband, Rocco, is a total scamp. When Rocco’s behaviour turns from bad to worse the Father’s only option is to ‘force’ the truth out for the better of Francine: it’s where Pasquale’s – the chef – ‘magic veal steak’ comes in playing the role of the ‘magic potion’ meant to make things emerge as they are.
Beyond the story there is also a metaphor to be interpreted: young love is blind and often can be deceitful. In the young people’s eyes the experienced advice of the elderly will always be dispensable, unless the one giving the advice can ‘force’ this impenetrable wall of ‘stubbornness’ by some special means and make the truth emerge for the better of the novice and spear them of the trouble of learning it on their own. The characters embark on a ‘spinning carousel’ of witty lines exchange where some find themselves in pursuit of their own interests and the others are aiming for a ‘fair deal’. ‘Pasquale’s Magic Veal’ is top acted reminding of the old classic gangster films. Genre fans are going to be in the seventh heaven: the clever dialogue and the precise impersonations of the three protagonists are delicious.
Everything in D.J. Higgins’ film converges to establishing a genuine mobster flick mood with much confidence and ease, making the film rate high on the verisimilitude scale. ‘Pasquale’s Magic Veal’ is well made and competently directed, granting 20 minutes of quality entertaining.