A lot of us have a tendency to look down upon Bangladeshi cinema. But what if I told you there exists a movie maniac who, funnily enough, finds inspiration from films like 'Goriber Raja Robinhood' and gets immense joy in unpacking the plots of these strangely entertaining movies.
This maniac is Rahat Rahman, AKA the YouTuber from ButtFiXx. He is incredibly popular among today's youth, particularly for his quirky, satirical review of Dhallywood movies mingled with cleverly incorporated pop culture references. Currently ButtFiXx has almost 292,000 subscribers and its popularity is steadily increasing.
Rahat was one of the acclaimed directors of the first Bangladeshi anthology 'Sincerely Yours, Dhaka' released on Netflix. He also produced the much under-appreciated sitcom 'Team Possible' on YouTube. His other popular projects include 'Cinequicky', 'Cinemaal', 'Butt of Thrones' etc. Currently, Rahman is residing in Canada where he finished studying film production.
When we asked him to describe himself in a few words, he claimed to be a filmmaker, a content creator, a gamer and obviously, a movie lover.
"In 1998, I watched a movie called Human Nature. I loved it so much that I decided to choose filmmaking as a profession. Fun fact, the movie was actually released in 2001. Some may say I am deluded, but when I saw this movie, a calendar of 1998 was hanging beside our TV set. This might be the reason behind this delusion."
Rahman loves to play video games from a very young age and aims to become a game critic. In fact, his interest in video editing developed from his interest in gaming.
"When I got my first computer, a basic interest towards games and watching animations grew. It eventually inspired me to collect a video editing software called premiere."
Even though Rahman has studied law, his endearment towards filmmaking never left.
"I feel comfortable presenting myself as a filmmaker. Being a YouTuber was not my intention in the first place, however ironically people know me mostly for being a YouTuber. I have been attached to this industry from student life. I worked as the assistant director for many dramas and then started ad making. I was interested in law but being a lawyer was never a career option."
His decision to start the channel was quite impulsive. ButtFiXx's premiere onto the netscape occurred in 2010. During the early days of his channel, he used to add Bangla phonetic translations in foreign songs. Much to his surprise, people loved it. However, when he officially started 'Cinemaal', it took the internet by storm.
"I once watched a movie called 'Poradhin'. In one scene, I saw Joshim fighting to protect Moushumi. To express her gratitude she said "Thank you bhai" and Joshim replied dramatically, with heavy grief, to not call him 'Bhai'. I found this scene intriguingly funny. Hence, I made a video out of it from the friendzone context and people loved it. So I thought if a single scene can create that much impact, what if I start to analyse a whole Bangla movie? Also I was a fan of honest trailers and enjoyed content creation. All of these collectively helped to begin the saga of 'Cinemaal'."
For Rahman, films are a way to experience a first class journey to exotic places across the world from the comfort of your living room. From French movies to Bangla, Rahman admires art in every language. This admiration motivated him to work on interesting projects like 'Sincerely Yours, Dhaka', 'Team Possible' and more. However, Dhallywood movies have a specific place in his heart.
"I am a pure cinephile, I love to give commentary on movies belonging to different cultures but I respect Bangla movies wholeheartedly. And I'm not being sarcastic at all. The strategies and logic used in Dhallywood movies to continue the storyline amuses me. This is a very exclusive trait of Bangla movies that drew me into the fandom."
One of the most interesting projects he has completed beside 'Cinemaal' is 'Butt of Thrones'. He worked with his brother-in-law to create this YouTube segment where they analysed the famous HBO series 'Game of Thrones' together.
" 'Team Possible' was a dream project, and we even came up with a few ideas for the next season while working on the first. I tried pitching my idea to a number of streaming services, but because the views on YouTube were insufficient, they did not consider it a viable project." said Rahman.
However his followers are still frustrated for not getting updates on 'Team Possible 2'. "If I get adequate financial backing in the future, I will surely begin working on it. In the current situation, 'Team Possible' may never happen again. But I will incorporate the ideas I have written for it in my other contents," he continued.
Without proper support, no one can taste the feeling of accomplishment. Rahman's family was that support system to him.
"All credit for who I am today belongs to my parents, who never pressured me to pick a conventional career path and instead encouraged me to pursue my dream of being a filmmaker. My brother has also been a big critic of my work, which has aided me in producing greater content."
Rahman videos are not just about Bangla cinemas. He also hosts a show called 'Cine Quicky', in which he discusses the plots of movies from different countries. He started it with the intention of enlightening people about unique films rather than giving his opinion on them.
Rahman is currently working on a few scripts. "After a few months when I will be back in Bangladesh I will be meeting some OTT platforms to work on some feature length or series as a filmmaker. A Canadian cable channel has shown interest to air my graduation film and also I have submitted to a few festivals for which I am excited. For ButtFiXx I will try to bring more diversity to my contents. 'Cinemaal' will not be the primary focus area of my channel."
Lastly, Rahat shared a few nuggets of wisdom for his followers.
"My suggestion for the aspiring content creators would be to bring uniqueness to your content. Bangladeshi content creators tend to copy each other, which is becoming tedious. I will not say everyone is bad, but one should be properly trained and experienced to bring exclusivity in his content."
"For my loyal followers who are asking me to create more comedic videos, I am overwhelmed but when you develop contents hastily, it lacks quality. So I wish for your patience and support which will help me to extract creative ideas for the future."