Mystify: Michael Hutchence – film review

If you were a music fan in the 1990s you couldn’t miss Aussie rock band INXS, and in particular the band’s frontman Michael Hutchence.

He was the charismatic frontman whose life became tabloid folder, and his suicide in November 1997 shocked the music world.

New documentary Mystify: Michael Hutchence looks at what drove Hutchence, at heart quite a shy young man, into becoming a global superstar, and attempts to offer some answers as to why he decided to take his own life.

Like Amy and Senna before it, Mystify: Michael Hutchence uses only footage from when its subject was alive such as home videos, archive footage, outtakes – some of which has never been seen before. There are no talking heads, everyone featured is done so via voiceover, meaning that throughout the film, the viewer remains immersed in Hutchence’s world.

It features interviews with some of the most prominent people in Hutchence’s life, his INXS band-mate Andrew Farris, his brother Rhett, previous girlfriends including both Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen, and offers a rare insight into a man who spent much of his time in the spotlight putting on a show, both literally and figuratively.

The film also reveals an incident that happened to Hutchence in Copenhagen that could, possibly, be why he ultimately followed the destructive path that led to his suicide. It’s a shocking revelation, and one that leaves the viewer wondering what might have been.

Overall, I found Mystify: Michael Hutchence thoroughly engrossing. It offers a new insight into a man who was always something of a mystery, despite the fact that much of his life played out across the tabloids. And it certainly left me with a feeling of ‘what if’.

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