The film focuses on bullock cart driver Khader (Mammootty), a retired Corporal and World War I veteran, and Unni Krishnan (Suresh Gopi), a hardline nationalist revolutionary from a family of Hindu landlords. Both men join the brigade of Variyan Kunnathu Kunjahammed Haji (T. G. Ravi), one of the prominent leaders of the 1921 Uprising.
The plot gradually introduces a variety of characters, representing the Malabar society of the 1920s. The film also touches various social dilemmas which lead to the 1921 Uprising, the atrocities committed by the British army during the events and the eventual collapse of the rebel unity and organisation.
1921 – Ayirathi Thollayirathi Irupathi Onnu is a 1988 Indian historical war drama film directed by I. V. Sasi, set during the Mappila Uprising of 1921. The film has a star-studded cast including Mammootty, Suresh Gopi, Madhu, T. G. Ravi, Seema, Urvashi and Mukesh. Written by long-time Sasi collaborator T. Damodaran, the film tells the fictional story of Corporal Khader (Mammootty), a former British army officer and World War I veteran, who joins with the Mappila rebels during the Uprising.
Made with a budget of Rs. 1. 20 crore, 1921 was then the most expensive film in Malayalam. The film was a moderate success only due to its low profit. The film won Kerala State Film Award for Best Film with Popular Appeal and Aesthetic Value in 1988.