BY KEA YENGST
“That’s hot.” One catchphrase made Paris Hilton, former star of reality TV show “The Simple Life,” a world-renowned icon in the early 2000s. In YouTube Original “This is Paris,” released Sept. 13, the blond-haired, blue-eyed Hilton Hotel heiress shows her dumb blonde persona in a new light that is raw and less superficial.
The documentary starts off with an introduction of Hilton walking into a recording studio and starting one of many recording sessions with some acquaintances. Minutes later, home videos of Hilton’s childhood, previous vacations and inevitable encounters with paparazzi are presented. There are even some animated segments that depict the trauma of Hilton’s childhood, especially in regard to her relationship with the Provo Canyon School and the everlasting trauma that came with it.
One thing to note throughout the duration of the documentary is that most of the footage, especially that of meet-and-greets, going into clubs to DJ and traveling, was filmed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, which explains the lack of mask wearing and social distancing from the film’s stars.
The documentary even briefly features other familiar names that have relationships to the Hilton family, including Kris Jenner, sister Nicky Hilton and aunt Kyle Richards, who also stars in “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
What makes the documentary interesting is that it shows all aspects of Hilton’s life before, during and after she had developed her fame for being famous. Whether it be clips of her multiple business debuts across the world or the countless number of original outfits Hilton wore on nights out, there is always some type of memorabilia that is documented in the film.
Of course, not all documentaries are a smooth reel. There are many instances where the cameraperson documents random occurrences involving Hilton, whether it be swimming in a pool of rubber balls in Seoul, an overly elongated conversation between the Hilton sisters or an overlapped segment of Hilton’s mother, which takes away the glamorous vibe presented earlier in the film.
There are also some instances where the cameraperson zooms in and out of interview segments and other situations without much control. This is especially noticeable when Hilton and her then-boyfriend Aleks Novakovic are at the Tomorrowland festival for one of her DJ gigs, where the two are constantly arguing while Hilton hustles up on stage. Although these occurrences are genuine, the movement of the camera makes them look somewhat staged and planned out.
In addition to shaky footage, the editors are not keen on censoring all profanity found in the film, leading to some shots where the stars are not censored when needed; however, certain profane images depicted in the documentary are blurred.
The film ends with Hilton on a lighter note when reuniting with old boarding school classmates. They reminisce on the brighter days of a chronic, traumatizing experience and begin the process of exposing the Provo Canyon School, proven to be a living hell by alumni through a social media campaign called #BreakCodeSilence.
“This is Paris” can be viewed on YouTube for free and runs for 1 hour and 45 minutes with few skippable commercials.
(Photo courtesy of YouTube)