It seems to me that this is a really boring horror film. Apparently it details the life of its main character, a young man named Dominico, in much the same way director Ermanno Olmi experienced his first employment experience.
Whenever a film is incredibly dull, film critics who enjoy dull things start writing using phrases like "slice of life" and "mise-en-scene" as if the very use of those phrases somehow negated the fact that my ass fell asleep while I watched the film.
Dominico is just out of school and pursues what appears to be a government job. He goes through all kinds of bureaucracy and eventually lands the job, a fact Olmi looks upon with a kind of horror as the other people in the office scramble for a vacated desk. This is what life comes to when your job sucks: scrambling for vacated desks.
The only thing that brings any sort of joy to Dominico's life is a female co-worker, but she eventually disappears into the dreariness of Dominico's new life like a piece of office furniture. Call this work soulful or astute or contemplative; they're all just synonyms for boring in my book.
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