‘Mystify’ Michael Hutchence documentary review

‘Mystify’ Michael Hutchence documentary review

The Mystify Michael Hutchence documentary is one of the most gripping things I’ve ever seen on a TV screen. Made by a close friend of the frontman, film director Richard Lowenstein, this masterpiece has the power to turn misconceptions about the Australian singer right upside down.

If you’re one of those people who thinks what happened to Michael Hutchence was an accident, then in a way you would be right. Although assault is a more appropriate term, and the incident that led to his demise occurred back in 1992, when the INXS singer was in Copenhagen with Helena Christensen.

The seal of approval

Richard Lowenstein was, I quote, ‘the only person any of us who truly knew Michael could trust’. Those words came from the mouth of Tina Hutchence, Michael’s elder sister herself. So the Mystify documentary has the full family seal of approval.

If you’re tinkering with the idea of watching this INXS documentary on Netflix or catching the Michael Hutchence documentary when the BBC or ITV decides to show it, do. It’s the only way to find out what really happened to lead the star into taking his own life.

Baring all

Fans of Kylie Minogue will also be delighted to see her baring all – not least her naked bum cheeks during a trip the lovers took on the Orient Express. In fact several of Michael’s former girlfriends were very candid, revealing all about their relationshios with the INXS singer so we could see better inside his head.

The documentary on Michael Hutchence peels back the layers to reveal a man who was by turns insightful, poetic, emotional, artistic and intelligent. There was much more to him than met the eye, and he was very different from the way he was portrayed here by the UK media.


From him going onstage – every inch the charismatic rock star in his ‘Hutch’ leather jacket – to frank chats with his family, friends and former lovers, we learn via the Mystify INXS documentary that this man was something of an enigma.

He had a ‘genuine artistry’, was ‘a dreamer’ and adored literature. At times he wasn’t sure what love meant, and was a ‘real wanderer’. He needed people around him, yet was terrified of seeing the audience clearly after trying out contact lenses.

Michael suffered from a lack of confidence in his own vocal ability, and to perform on stage had to create a persona that he took on like a mask each time he stepped out there. Though he’s strived so hard for it, he also found the success of INXS limiting and took on the Max Q project as a way of trying to achieve credibility.


The Michael Hutchence Mystify documentary also shows what a sensual person Michael was, and how the loss of his sense of taste and smell would have utterly devastated him. Ironically he was very taken with Perfume, the Patrick Süskind novel that explores the senses and death. The concept behind The Picture of Dorian Gray also very much appealed to him, as did the immortality of olive trees.

There are some incredibly sad moments in the INXS Mystify documentary too. Michael’s guilt when being separated from his brother Rhett, and the break-ups with Michele Bennett, Kylie Minogue and Helena Christensen. Helena also describes her initial belief that he was lying dead during the moments that followed the assault.

Kelland Hutchence also describes the phone call he received from the press on 22nd November 1997, while his manager Martha Troup and Michele Bennett outline the increasingly desperate messages they received during the star’s final exhausting hours.

Michal Hutchence never got to pop the champagne cork with his father to celebrate the millenium, nor did he live to see Tiger Lily grow up. In fact he never even smelled his child, though thankfully he got to hold her close.

Slipping away

After the life-changing assault Michael Hutchence was a different person – more aggressive, angry and violent at times. His behavious was erratic, he craved danger, and he became increasingly insecure and confused as even his sense of self slipped from his grasp.

Once you’ve seen the Michael Hutchence Mystify documentary, what happened at the Ritz-Carlton in Double Bay, Sydney in late 1997 all suddenly becomes crystal clear.

Whether or not you’re a fan of 80s and 90s music or even INXS, this Michael Hutchence documentary sheds light on so many things. Traumatic brain injuries and their devastating effects most of all.

Thank you Richard Lowenstein

Richard Lowenstein, I would love to meet you one day. Though I may well burst into tears at the very sight of the man who, at last, told the story the world needed to hear. For that I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I know Michael’s family, friends and fans do too.

Marcy x

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