Film Review: Mystify

Michael Hutchence is the kind of pop star/rock God that the musically industry simply doesn’t tolerate today. In INXS, he fronted one of Australia’s most popular bands. During the ‘80s and ‘90s they had hit after hit. Their albums, Listen Like Thieves, Kick and X, sold millions whilst the likes of Disappear, Suicide Blonde, Need You Tonight and Mystify are still popular today. However, despite all this the troubled singer was as equally (in)famous for his antics off-stage.

Named after one of their hits, the new documentary from Richard Lowenstein, Mystify, tells the story of Hutchence’s life. After a troubled childhood, he formed a band with his friends and the future looked bright. However, the bigger INXS got, the more he was plagued by self-doubt. He reacted with increasingly wild behaviour. An altercation in Copenhagen proved to be the tipping point, sending him on a downward spiral that would end in tragedy.

Mystify is a meticulously constructed portrait of a man who became a worldwide star but ended up unable to cope with his fame. Whilst the format is pretty straightforward, the film is crafted in such as way to remain compelling, despite already knowing how it’s going to end. In the end, the music is key. Lowenstein uses it so well in Mystify. A superior music documentary.

Mystify is out in cinemas from 18 October.

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