Kurt Cobain. Amy Winehouse. Jimi Hendrix. Apart from being great and important musicians, they all died way too young.
While their legacy is being held high, imagine what more exceptional music we could have got. Sadly, this is also the same for the eccentric and celebrated musician and singer-songwriter Michael Hutchence.
After receiving worldwide fame with INXS, he became even more flamboyant, outspoken and talented than he already was.
Writer/director Richard Lowenstein (“Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard”; “We’re Livin’ On Dog Food”) found in Hutchence the perfect subject for his newest documentary and made from “Mystify: Michael Hutchence” an exciting, entertainment but also dark and honest one.
Born in 1960 as Michael Kelland John Hutchence, Hutchence got interested in culture from a very young age. While poetry was his first love, music became his second after meeting Andrew Farriss during their time at Davidson High School.
Together with Andrew’s two brothers and other musically gifted students Kent Kerny, Neil Sanders, Garry Beers, and Geoff Kennelly, they decided to start the band “The Farriss Brothers” which will two years later be renamed to “INXS”.
During their road to success, Hutchence became the spokesperson for the band. A decision that would change his life.
His devilishly handsome looks, his groovy moves and his charisma made Hutchence the man boys wanted to be and girls who wanted to be with.
Not only the ordinary fans were queuing up to be his lover but also more famous talent such as model Helena Christensen, pop star Kylie Minogue and TV presenter Paula Yates saw something they loved in Hutchence.
While his personal life became an emotional rollercoaster, his career became a musical one. From Australia to London and from Belgium to China. No country was too far away for him.
While Hutchence was being praised for his phenomenal voice and energetic performances by both press and fans, he was always insecure about himself. About not being good enough.
Despite being under constant pressure, he never forgot his passion for culture, food, and women. However, one horrifying event changed that lust for life forever…
Well, director Lowenstein decided to go for both. While Hutchence’s musical career is being showcased throughout the entire documentary, it’s especially the first part that focuses on his work.
Whether it’s as the hypnotic singer in INXS, as the solo artist who could make you feel like you’re the only one in the room with him or as an energetic musician in Max Q, Hutchence will grab your attention every single second of this documentary.
Even though he was always a heart-rob who was being described as a “sex symbol”, his love life is mostly being put in the spotlight in the second part of the documentary.
While he might not have seen himself as a good and talented guy, his ex-lovers such as Helena Christensen, Kylie Minogue, and Paula Yates had nothing but greatness to say about him. Whether it was about him as a person, musician or as a husband.
Sadly, that life-changing event in Hutchence’s life will also be the turning point for this documentary. It becomes less captivating and intriguing compared to what you’ve seen already.
However, that certainly doesn’t mean you have to leave before the end as “Mystify: Michael Hutchence” picks up the fast pace again near the end.
That Hutchence had a complex, multilayered and diverse personality is an understatement and a documentary about his life must have that same style. No better way to achieve that than using footage the man shot himself.
Whether it’s a very short video about the holidays, a trip with one of his lovers or just him and band mates jamming in the recording studio, you get the feeling you’re there with him along every step of the way.
Thanks to the voice-overs from girlfriends, close friends and family, “Mystify: Michael Hutchence” gives you an even more personal insight on how Hutchence was as a person and a musician according to others.
Of course, there are also the more professional recordings, most of the time concerts, television performances or music videos. The immense variety of footage and the way they used it, is one of the strong element of this documentary. Besides Hutchence big charisma of course.
A dazzling, charismatic and incredibly gifted musician like Hutchence has always an intriguing story to tell and that’s why director Lowenstein decided to create a documentary about the late singer.
“Mystify: Michael Hutchence” turned out to become an immensely compelling, emotional, beautiful and honest documentary.