I want to see this film to find out more about Michael Hutchence. I know his music a little from his time as frontman with INXS but very little about the man.
The film was written and directed by Richard Lowenstein who directed many of Hutchence’s music video. The movie has been well researched with plenty of use of video footage including home videos and concert footage as well as old photos.
I’m glad I went. I got to know the man quite well.He had quite a remarkable journey for a boy whose school reports said that he could do better and that he was a dreamer He was a bit of a shy lad but that shyness soon left him when his career skyrocketed.
There was extensive concert footage which proved again what a charismatic performer he was. In a way he was kind of our version of Mick Jagger.
Lowenstein’s pic does lean towards it being another take on the tortured pop artist theme. Hutchence died at 37, way too young, with so much more to give. Everything came together, especially the drama around Paula Yates and their daughter Tiger Lilly. and it sapped his will to live.
The doco shows that he had a reasonably happy childhood though the family moved around. He formed a band with some friends in his teens and it follows his journey to forming INXS and ultimately their international success. The film shows some of his hand written lyrics.
He was no a bright, well read guy, reading such diverse works as Kahlil Gibran, Allen Ginsberg and Jean Paul Sartre..
One of the film’s strongest impressions is that he was a ladies man. He had very passionate, intense relationships with his women. The film charts his ‘celebratory’ relationships with Kylie Minogue, Helena Christensen and Paula Yates and clearly he loved them all, even if as a young man he claimed that he didn’t know what love was. Some of his hand written love letters are shown.
MYSTIFY sees him as being basically a good natured guy. He was very loyal and committed to his band, often playing when he wasn’t well.
The film shows him as living fast with drugs playing its part, and never pausing to ‘smell the roses’. Towards the end of the film there’s a scene which poignantly shows him silently and not so securely hanging off a studio microphone.
The movie ends and the credits roll with Hutchence singing the title song, Mystify. I left the cinema not mystified at all as to the reason for Hutchence’s success, the guy had talent to burn. It’s just such a shame that the dark side of his fragile nature won over in the end