The other answers are great about explaining this type of use of negative space generally.
Having seen this scene, I'd say that this particular framing is meant to show starkly that the characters are up against a wall, metaphorically.
They have constantly been hamstrung by their own higher-ups, repeatedly blocked from doing the very job they are there to do, and in this scene the character on the right (your second image, framed so he is on left side, facing left), who is the team leader, is delivering the bad news to the other character (left side physically, facing right), that their latest attempt at making progress, when they thought they really had a win, has failed yet again.
While they're both on the same team, working together, and facing the same obstacles, perhaps the framing further reinforces that they have to deal with different walls (barriers), or at least different parts of the same one, in that the superior is trying to fight for his team and the mission to higher ups, and must do that alone, while the other officer has only his own superior to convince, and having already done that, has no other avenue to succeed. Both are isolated in their own way, even as their interests and intentions are aligned.