This stunning picture marking the final film appearance of legendary screen legend Mr Henry Fonda is a terrific portrayal of the turbulent and distant relationship between father and his onscreen and off-screen daughter Jane Fonda. Needless to say, the real star of this picture is Fonda himself playing the cranky and despondent old poop that is Norman Thayer.
The whole point with this picture was moving away from the misconception that aging is something to fear in this world, but it is rather something that needs to be embraced and welcomed into one's life - including Norman. The relationship between the father and daughter of the picture is something of central significance throughout the play. Upon Jane Fonda's return in the final scenes of the movie to the idealistic image of her father bonding with her stepson in a way he never did quite did with her reinforces the idea that it is indeed never too late to reconcile the paternal bonds that had, at once, proven almost impossible to retain.
What really stood out from this picture is the chemistry between the two lead roles; Hepburn and Fonda, in their Oscar-winning performances, appear to not capture the sexualised and lustful kind of chemistry but a kind that's most genuine, relatable and honest to audiences alike.
The pictures traditional and authentic message resonates that we should quit the discrepancies and controversies of the past and aim to begin the path of forgiveness and reconciliation. Strangely, the weakest section of the picture was the undeveloped 'lack of bond' between Fonda's character and his daughter. The pair's scenes demonstrated a lack of raw emotion and total emptiness - odd considering the storyline appeared to showcase their real-life lack of paternal bonding in Jane's adolescent years.
Nonetheless, no one can take away the simply beauty and treasure that is 1981's On Golden Pond. The picture's sweet and gentle plot focusing on an elderly man's search for a greater meaning to growing older in the form of the late Henry Fonda with his kind-hearted and sensible wife, the also late, Ms Katharine Hepburn.