I have to disagree with the previous poster's interpretation that Smith was destroyed by faith and love, and other things. Smith was not destroyed by love or anything like that. It is true that Smith wanted total control, however, the reason he died is simply because Neo had made an alliance with The Source to destroy Smith and Smith was not aware of this. When Smith assimilated Neo (who was connected to The Source), it gave The Source the opportunity to delete Smith, and Smith was deleted.
I take issue with the ideas that The Matrix is about faith overcoming communism, lol.... or whatever the previous poster said. "Neo’s path of liberation has never been control, but faith." Well of course Neo's path was never about control because he never really had any. He was born in the matrix and was a pawn of the oracle. On the other hand, you bet your ass Neo sought greater control as part of his path. Everything he did since taking the red pill was about gaining more control, from learning kung fu, to being able to destroy machines with his mind. Neo was always seeking great control over things, just not total control over everything.
"Neo’s path of liberation has never been control, but faith. In each of the three installments, his key choice is to go against the sensible or easy thing and instead surrender to love"
Nah, I disagree with that. Morpheus was the one who was all about faith. Neo's choices were based on emotion, vis a vis, love. He didn't choose Trinity because he had faith in anything, or considered it to be an easier or harder thing, or a better strategical choice. He chose her because he loved her, that's all. And so he was willing to risk everything else to choose her. The other choices Neo made were also emotional, but based on wisdom. He had the vision to realize that the red pill was the right choice because he could no longer tolerate his blue pill life and he experienced things with Neo that led him to believe the red pill was a way out. Again, in every other choice Neo had to make with respect to the oracle, his choices were based on the wisdom he had gained through his experiences, and his ability to see through bullshit, and then estimate that the choices he made were correct. Neo never blindly believed anything, he did things when he had reason too. Faith is more a Morpheus thing. That is, except when it came to Trinity. He loved her more than anything, and so when it came to her, acted in a way that favored her survival, regardless of consequence.
I just don't like when people talk about The Matrix, and use it, apparently, to elevate the concepts of love and faith above everything. I don't think that's actually the message behind this movie. I don't think the moral of the story is, "love conquers all", or "faith is the path to 'liberation'". What does liberation mean anyway? These two concepts, faith and love, are definitely part of the story, but they aren't "the point", so to speak. I'm not saying there is an exact point either, but I just don't think those concepts are supposed to be elevated. Those concepts do exist in our human lives, and it's up to us to do with them as we will.
However, when you look at what happened in the matrix, it shows us that our human emotions are actually just variables, from a larger perspective. As individuals we may experience love and faith, but others may not. Both love and faith were knowingly used by the machines to control humans. Knowing that, you can't say that love beats control, or something like that. Love was used as part of control, lol. I do believe the matrix is about liberating ones mind consciousness, however, a big part, no, a necessary part of that, is realizing that our emotions are a huge part of what controls us as well.
The point of this movie is not to try to get people to elevate love and faith as the highest form of existence, or something. Believing that would be the equivalent of taking a big fat blue pill, wherein the matrix of human emotion is accepted on the face of it, as ultimate reality.
I'd like to add some more to these thoughts on why the matrix isn't really about elevating love and faith. In the movie, we see even some programs in the matrix talk about love. Rama Kandra, the guy at the train station, talked about how he "loved" his daughter. But of course, he is a program and does not feel love the way humans feel it. Rama explains that love is just a word, but it represents something. Both humans and machines operate under systems of value. Machines value some things, humans value others. The Neo who is in love places a great value on his love. But that doesn't mean love trumps everything. Neo just happened to be in a situation where he was in romantic love. They also say in the movie, "we're all here to do what we're here to do", or something along those lines. Seraph's purpose was to "protect that which matters most", However, that which Seraph protected and believed to be most important, was a far less emotionally attached phenomenon, but necessary and valid, nonetheless. Same with the Key Maker, and the oracle, for that matter. But that doesn't make Neo the greatest because of his position of being in love, just saying. It just put him in a position where he was willing to do anything to preserve what he cherished. I think it's a mistake to think of this in terms of "love beats evil".
Really, I think one of the lessons of the matrix is more along the lines of, "we're all here to do what we're here to do". Maybe the message really is that choice is an illusion, you're here to understand why you make your choice. Emotion has already made your choices for you. Not everyone is in love or has faith, but that doesn't invalidate their positions, or their purpose, or their place within the world. Rama Kandra "loved" his daughter, in a machine version kind of way. I think the point is that we are all travellers, we're all on a different path, and the story of the matrix is a story of one person's path, an idealistic path that is meant to tell a story, not to idealize the story itself or the motivations of that particular story. But the real path is your life, whatever path you are on. I'd say that is the point of the matrix.... if there is any intended point. I don't think the Matrix is meant to elevate love and faith, but get the viewer to realize that they are "the one" in their own way because.... you are alive, and it's your life. You don't have to be anything you are not "meant" to be. Love represents that which you value, that is all. Neo happened to value a bitch, but that's just his thing. Of course, the movie does not tell us what we are meant to be because nothing can. The question is whether you are doing what you are "meant" to do, or going along with whatever pressures are trying to get you to do something else. Are you going with a system of control, or acting as an agent, living your own fate?
Of course, the system of control in the matrix does not exist in real life. We are not controlled by conscious machines. The machines can represent anything that might throw you off your path, whatever that path may be. I'm not going to be one of those people who says things like, "the matrix is like the government, or society". Maybe, maybe not. Could be anything. As we also see in the matrix, some programs do understand human emotion, and they might even help you out, like Rama Kandra did. The matrix also teaches us to expand our understanding of our place in the world, and how much we can understand each other.